Government Plans 'Office For Talent' to Bring Scientists & Big Brains to the UK

By Holly Brockwell on at

The government wants to make it "simple, easy and quick" for clever types to immigrate to the UK.

Our first suggestion would be to form some kind of 'union' with other countries, perhaps our neighbours in Europe, and allow free movement between nations. But this idea is apparently not being considered.

Instead, BoJo's government will set up a new Office For Talent which will be responsible for bringing scientists, researchers, "innovators and risk-takers" to this country.

I mean, if they're that clever, they probably won't want to come here, at least not right now. But we're sure No 10 has thought of that.

The programme includes a £300m cash investment to improve scientific infrastructure, a concerted effort to cut red tape for movers and shakers, and an extension to how long international students can stay when they finish their PhD.

Said students will now be allowed to hang around for three years to live and work in the UK, if they want to. Visa application windows for aspiring students will also be lengthened and there'll be an Innovation Fellowship Programme to bring tech and digital talent here to work on public services.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma comments:

"The UK has a strong history of turning new ideas into revolutionary technologies - from penicillin to graphene and the world wide web.

Our vision builds on these incredible successes to cement Britain's reputation as a global science superpower."

We had a reputation as a science superpower? News to us.

The Royal Society President Venki Ramakrishnan added:

"Our participation in EU research programmes has benefited everyone and it is good to see the government's renewed commitment to continuing that fruitful association.

Maintaining the UK's position as a scientific leader is essential to our long term success as a nation and will be crucial to rebuilding jobs and the economy as we recover from the pandemic."

There's more than a whiff of "shouldn't have left the EU" in there, in our opinion.

So, which talented minister has Boris chosen to lead the Office for Talent?

Dominic Cummings. The man who thinks getting behind the wheel of a car is a good way to test your eyesight. Coolio. [BBC]