Posted on: 25/08/2022 by: David Morgan in: SMEs, Startups
In a challenging economic environment it is great to have some positive news for a change. The government has recently announced that scaleups will be able to attract the best talent from around the globe with the new Scale-up visa scheme.
What is a scaleup?
Most people are familiar with startups because of the sheer volume of them launching each year but scaleups are less well known. So let’s start by explaining what they are. A scaleup refers to a specific phase of a business’ growth. Companies that are referred to as scaleups have enjoyed rapid growth and are moving onto the next stage of their development.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) definition of a scaleup is a high growth company that has achieved 20% or more growth in either turnover or employment year on year for at least three years and have a minimum of 10 employees at the beginning of the observation period.
Who is eligible?
Companies and small businesses that match the criteria in the OECD definition above and who operate in the financial and tech sectors are able to apply for the Scale-up visa. Eligible enterprises will be able to hire for a wide range of skilled positions including: architects; scientists; economists; engineers; programmers; research and development professionals; software developers; financial and investment advisers; and technicians.
Thanks to the new Scale-up scheme high-growth businesses will enjoy greater control and flexibility in their quest to entice talented professionals from around the globe. Scaleup businesses will be allowed to sponsor skilled workers from the fields above to contribute to the growth of the business, which will have a positive effect on the UK’s economy.
Simplifying the process
The Scale-up visa differs from other sponsored visas because it allows eligible businesses to employ high-calibre recruits who will receive 2 years’ leave to stay in the UK without the need for further permission or sponsorship after the first 6 months.
This complements the government’s support offering to businesses via the points-based immigration system to recruit staff worldwide. The Scale-up visa offers eligible businesses more flexibility to hire talented employees in a competitive marketplace. This helps take the business to the next level whilst also enhancing the UK’s pool of highly skilled talent.
Kevin Foster, Minister for Safe and Legal Migration welcomed the announcement and said:
“Rapidly growing businesses, like small enterprises, tech and financial services, need the right level of support to go to the next level. Through our Scale-up visa, we’re enabling businesses to focus on their growth and innovation by giving them more freedom to bring in the diverse skills and experience they need, making them more attractive on an international stage.
“By supporting our high-growth tech, financial services and small businesses, we are ensuring the UK remains a global hub for emerging technologies and innovation while enhancing productivity across the economy – creating jobs, growth and prosperity across Britain.”
Irene Graham OBE, CEO of the ScaleUp Institute emphasised the importance of scaleups to the economy and added:
“The ScaleUp Institute welcomes the launch of the Scale-up visa. This is something we have recommended since our inception and should provide a much-needed fast track service to enable local growth companies to access the talent they need more quickly.
“Scaleups add over £1 trillion a year and more than 3 million jobs to the UK economy, and are present in every community, hiring people from at home and abroad, as they drive growth into their local areas and beyond.
“The visa should help with the skills demands. We look forward to continuing to work with the government as this service evolves to ensure it fully addresses scaling business needs and works effectively.”
Key to growth
Scaling up is an essential stage of development for high-growth businesses in order to continue evolving and to compete on the international stage. Through being able to recruit high-calibre talent with sought-after expertise, businesses are able to bolster their productivity and innovation. This also has the added benefit of having a positive effect on the UK’s economy.
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