Fresh Talent Initiative

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The Fresh Talent Initiative is a Scottish Government policy framework to encourage people to settle in Scotland.[1] The initiative was launched in February 2004 by then First Minister, Jack McConnell as a way of countering the 'biggest challenge facing Scotland' of its falling population.[2]

Since immigration is a matter reserved to the UK parliament in the legislation that established the Scottish Parliament in 1999 (the Scotland Act 1998), agreement had to be obtained from the Home Office for a key part of the initiative: to allow overseas graduates from Scottish universities, who express the intention of living and working in Scotland, to stay on for two years following graduation to seek employment. The Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme was up and running by summer 2005, applying to those who graduated that year.[3]

Opposition towards the scheme was voiced by some English universities which felt that the scheme gave Scottish universities a competitive advantage in terms of attracting students from overseas.[4]

The Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme was subsumed into the UK immigration system on 29 June 2008 when the UK government brought in a new points based immigration scheme.[5]

See also


  1. ^ New Scots: Attracting Fresh Talent to meet the Challenge of Growth, accessed 4 November 2008
  2. ^ FOREWORD, accessed 4 November 2008
  4. ^ Scotland's Fresh Talent plan angers English universities, accessed 5 November 2008
  5. ^ Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland, accessed 5 November 2008
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