Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland


The Fresh Talent initiative took another step forward today when the UK Government laid regulations which will allow students to apply to stay and work in Scotland for two years after the end of their course without the need for a work permit.

The Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland scheme will come into effect next Wednesday, June 22. From that date, students will be able to apply for the scheme.

Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform Tom McCabe said:

"This is another important step forward for Fresh Talent. We have working in close partnership with the Home Office and the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland scheme will now come into effect next week.

"From Wednesday, overseas students will be able to apply to stay and work in Scotland for two years after the end of their course without the need for a work permit.

"I believe the scheme will prove to be popular. Scotland is a great country with loads to offer and I am convinced many students will want to remain in Scotland to work or study.

"It will build on the other measures we have put in place to address the demographic challenges Scotland faces. We are serious about Fresh Talent - it is a very clear signal we want Scotland to grow in profile and stature."

Professor Joan Stringer, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Napier University said:

"Fresh Talent is in line with our own ambition to recruit increasing numbers of overseas students to come to study with us in Scotland and to export Scottish education to the world through our partnerships with institutions overseas - some of which go back some 20 years now. By enabling and encouraging overseas students to work in Scotland after they complete their studies, it also helps us to fulfil our objective of supplying the confident graduates which the employers who recruit our students need."

The Scottish Executive and Home Office have agreed a new scheme called the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland scheme. The Scheme will begin on 22nd June and will apply to people who have been living in Scotland and studying at a Scottish college or university.

Those eligible to apply for permission to stay will be those who have graduated with a Higher National Diploma from a Scottish Further Education College or a first degree, Master's degree or Ph.D. from a Scottish Higher Education Institution. It will not include students graduating with a Higher National Certificate or postgraduate diploma, recipients of honorary degrees, or people who lived outside Scotland while studying.

From June 22 2005, students will have one year from the time they complete their studies to apply. This means that those who completed their course up to one year before the scheme is launched will be eligible to apply.

Applicants should intend to work in Scotland during the time they are allowed to stay, and either leave the country at the end of the two year period or switch to one of the managed migration schemes. They must be able to maintain themselves and any dependants who are in Scotland with them without applying for help from public funds. If they have received sponsorship to help pay for their studies, the applicant must also provide a letter stating that the sponsor has no objection to the individual staying in Scotland

Applications for the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme must be made after the applicant has completed their course. Applications made from within the UK must be made before leave as a student (including as a student nurse, to re-sit examinations or to write up a thesis) expires.

Students who leave Scotland after their graduation ceremony may still apply to take part in the Scheme provided the application is made within a year of the date of completion of studies (taken as the date on the graduation certificate or, for a Masters or Ph.D. graduate, the date of the expiry of leave to enter or remain as a student).

Between today and June 22, the Fresh Talent team will be briefing universities and colleges to ensure that they are in a position to respond to enquiries from students about the scheme.

Application forms will be available from the Home Office. Decisions on applications will be made by the Home Office not the Scottish Executive. Further details will be available before 22nd June at: