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Supporting roles make up 40% of Tech Nation visa endorsees

A large number of the people endorsed to work in the UK with a Tech Nation Global Talent visa work in non-technical roles as part of the tech ecosystem

Of the thousands of tech professionals endorsed by Tech Nation for a visa, 40% are working in non-technical roles, according to Tech Nation’s Visa report 2022.

The network for tech entrepreneurs, which is an official endorsing body for the digital technology route of the UK’s Global Talent visa, found around 1,200 of the more than 2,500 people it has endorsed are working in non-technical tech roles.

The report also pointed out that of the millions of roles in the UK’s tech sector, around 36% are non-technical roles such as PR, HR, legal, sales or operations.

When it comes to the variety of roles in the technology ecosystem, Tech Nation claimed 30% are technology roles in technology companies, 33% are digital tech jobs outside of technology companies, and 36% are non-technical roles in tech companies.

It also highlighted that access to overseas talent is especially important in the face of rising tech vacancies across the UK. The figure reached 181,000 in May 2022, a 20% increase on the previous year.

Gerard Grech, founding chief executive of Tech Nation, said: “The UK’s record level of tech job vacancies demonstrates that the need for outside talent has never been greater. Even with our buoyant, currently well-funded and diverse ecosystem, the UK cannot afford to be complacent in the pursuit of international talent.

“In our recent People and skills report, it was noted that job opportunities in tech are at a 10-year high all over the UK. Whilst on the one hand this is encouraging, as it demonstrates a strong and growing tech infrastructure across every UK region, it does demonstrate that the need for outside talent has never been greater.”

The UK’s Global Talent visa scheme began in February 2020 with the aim of making it easier for skilled talent to come to the UK. It is a reformed version of the Tier 1 (exceptional talent) route for skilled applicants applying to work in the UK without a job offer.

The route has been popular, with Tech Nation receiving more than 4,000 applications for visas since 2014.

Almost 20% of the UK tech scaleup market has at least one founder from outside of the UK, and around 73% of investment in UK tech comes from overseas.

A quarter of people in the UK with a Global Talent Visa are founders, many of whom have senior tech positions.

To encourage more people to apply to work in UK tech via its visa programme, Tech Nation claims to have adopted a “you can’t be what you can’t see” mentality, and is sharing the experiences of some of its endorsees.

Grech explained: “Over the past 12 months, the Tech Nation visa team has taken a deep dive into our existing Global Talent Visa alumni network – now over 1,600 members strong – with a view towards fundamentally changing the way we talk about and position the visa.

“Since 2017, when we launched our Visa Alumni network, it has always been important to us to showcase and represent the incredible people using the Tech Nation visa as a stepping stone.” 

Not seeing others like them in tech roles is often cited as one of the reasons young girls and women don’t pursue tech careers, but there was a 17% year-on-year increase in female applications for Tech Nation’s visa between 2020/21 and 2021/22.

Read more about the Global Talent visa

  • Tech Nation, the endorsing body for the digital technology route of the UK’s Global Talent visa, sees a 48% increase in applications.
  • During review of whether the government should introduce a points-based system for migration, Migration Advisory Committee claims current Tier 1 system for exceptional talent is not fit for purpose.

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