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Access to skilled EU workforce 'vital' for London: UK report

Press Trust of India  |  London 

The British capital, which has one of the greatest concentrations of talent and skills in the world, will continue to need skilled EU workers to ensure its prosperity following the UK's exit from the European Union, a new report has said.

Maintaining London's access to skilled EU workers after Brexit is "vital" for the capital's future prosperity, the report by 'London First' said.

It said business leaders were worried any restriction on skilled migration would "impede London's ability to attract talent".

London First describes itself as a non-profit organisation with a mission "to make London the best city in the world to do business".

The organisation said leaving the EU also presented new opportunities to the city but other investment was required, the BBC reported.

Prime Minister Theresa May has not confirmed her plans for freedom of movement after Brexit.

But she has previously promised to secure a settlement that "addresses the concerns of the British people about free movement".

The report, which is based upon talks with business leaders, found that leaving the EU will present "challenges" and "opportunities" to the capital to keep it competitive on the world stage.

In the report, London First said the city had "one of the greatest concentrations of talent and skills in the world" and future policies should attempt to maintain this.

Suggestions made by the organisation to achieve this include - maintaining the legal status of EU workers currently in the UK, creating a visa regime which accounts for London's employment needs, and investigating the possibility of developing regional migration policies, such as a "London visa".

The report did find that leaving the EU could provide access to new markets and sources of investment for businesses in the city.

But it said "challenges" created by economic growth would have to be addressed to keep the city "open for business".

These included better transport infrastructure, improved skills training in the capital and the faster delivery of new housing.

The report added that improving cooperation with other UK cities will also help London "drive growth across the country".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, January 06 2017. 17:22 IST