Don’t Stop The Flow of Talent

Talent should be allowed to flow freely.

Talent should be allowed to flow freely.

The English Premier League attracts the best players in the world, yet our national team can’t even beat Iceland. Imagine the enjoyment factor of the Premier League if we were limited to local players…. This is certainly an interesting metaphor in the wake of the recent Brexit result. The best that England could offer couldn’t beat a nation with a population twenty times smaller, and with no league of their own. We want to be the best in the world, but sometimes you just fall short of where you would like to be.

This happens far too often on the football field, but hopefully not too often in other walks of life. Not yet, anyway. The UK leads the world in so many areas, but much of this can be related to the fact that we are a melting pot of talents and peoples. Our financial services industry is rammed with people from all over the world, but especially from our closest neighbours in Europe. Our life sciences are making the lives of countless millions better precisely because the best international minds are able to work and collaborate together. We offer a window onto Europe for global corporations – not only because we speak the global language of business, but also because we are intimately bound to our European neighbours.

If a company needs a German engineer for a twelve-month contract, there is no impediment to bring him over to London. How this will look in a few years is anyone’s guess.

Yes, I understand some of the issues with the free movement of people, but if the free movement of talent is harmed, then our country will be the poorer for it. We need to actively attract these talented immigrants, but at the moment we run the risk of any and all “immigrants” being tarred with a very dangerous brush.

I would like to say, here and now, we need you, you are welcome and we wouldn’t be the same country without you. Please don’t let the prejudices of the uninformed dictate the choices that you will be making for your futures. Britain will still be a global leader in the coming decades, and after the “migration propaganda” has died down, we need to start to value the role of global talent in our nations development that little bit more.

There won’t be a recruiter in the UK that hasn’t placed a European national at some point in their career. Their nationality won’t have been given a second thought – a mere footnote in their life story. In a prejudiced world where gender, race and age have all been traditional stumbling blocks to career progression, somehow nationality hasn’t been a big obstacle. “Nope, he’s Italian, we don’t want him on our board” – said by no one, never. So, lets hope that Theresa May and her new government take the sensible decisions and see the unimpeded flow of international talent as being as important as it has ever been.

When we turn our backs on talent, we resign ourselves to coming last.

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