While last week the ONS released the latest migration statistics, the Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK Mr Dinesh Patnaik spoke about the current migration trends and how skilled migration is essential for bilateral relations, opportunities and the economy, in an interview with the Financial Times.
With the government looking to reduce immigration, Mr Patnaik who is strong advocate of India-UK ties, stressed upon how migration was a two-way street, where skilled migrants have an immense contribution to UK’s economy.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr Patnaik said: “If the UK really wants the best and brightest, it should not allow to happen what happened with the student issue. We are afraid that this would happen with the highly skilled migrants. They’re contributing far more to the UK economy than they’re getting out of it.”
Indian professionals whose visas are being refused are engineers, tech professionals, doctors and teachers – professions which contribute largely to the fabric of UK.
According to the Oxford Migration Observatory Indians accounted for 27,700 skilled migrant visas in 2017, while the number of student visas fell to 16,550 from 40,000 in 2010-2011.
Mr Patnaik’s comments reflect the need for a diverse set of work skills, and how skilled migration is something which is profitable to the UK economy in the long run.
Earlier in the year during the launch of the Indian Professionals Forum by Dr Mohan Kaul, the High Commissioner of India to the UK HE Mr YK Sinha was quoted saying freer movement of people and professionals had to form part of any future deal between India and the UK to ensure it was mutually beneficial. He said: “When we look at a winning partnership we need to see all the facets of the partnership. It has to be mutually beneficial, it can’t be a one-way street.”