India, UK board YP programme to break mobility barriers

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, February 28: Opening a new platform for the youth of India and the UK to partake in their respective economies, the two countries on Tuesday set in motion the ‘Young Professionals Scheme’, which will allow 2400 Indians to visit the sixth largest economy in the world.

The Young Professionals Scheme was rolled as part of the India-UK Migration Mobility Partnership. This initiative allows the youth between 18-30 age group to stay in the host country for a period of two years to work. The scheme has been unveiled even while India and the UK are engaged in negotiations over the Free Trade Agreement, which is facing the mobility roadblock, with the politicians in London keeping the issue of migrants at the centre stage of the political discourse.

The Indian High Commissioner Vikram K Doraiswamy in the UK said that the Young Professionals Scheme will allow the youth of the UK to visit India to know the next generation of the economy in the country and also take part in the vibrant startup ecosystem. India, incidentally, has over 86,000 startups, which have come in the last few years, while number of unciorns, which are valued above $1 billion crossed 100 mark last year. There are about 110 unicorns in India.

The conditions of the Young Professionals Scheme include the age bracket of 18-30 years, financial means to sustain stay in the host country, not having a minor child, valid Visa for six months, graduation degrees. The candidates should not have visited India previously under such a programme.

The programme has come at a time when Rishi Sunak has taken over the premiership of the UK after a spell of fragile domestic politics in the country. Sunak is married to the daughter of Infosys founder N. R. Narayan Murthy. India and the UK hope to wrap up the FTA negotiations soon even while the two countries missed the Diwali deadline last year agreed upon when Boris Johnson was the PM of the UK.

The UK is battling an acute shortage of the skilled manpower. The UK economy is also in a tailspin in the aftermath of the exit of the country from the European Union. India may stand to gain from the technical and management skills of the youth of the UK who will seek to work in the country for two years.

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