England may be among the most favorite destinations for Indian immigrants, but now Scotland too is becoming popular. The Indian community is, in fact, one of the better established and largest ethnic communities around 10,500 people of Indian origin there.
Scotland has been increasingly positioning itself as a hub for inward investing projects in the UK, and is attracting a large number of Indian companies that are setting up base there. This leads to a large number of highly skilled Indians migrating to Scotland.
There are leading Indian companies who have presence in Scotland such as Wipro, Hero ITeS, Usha Martin, Bharat Forge, Nicholas Pharma and Shasun to name a few. Scotland region has been named as the European Region of the future 2008, beating 38 other European Regions for the title.
Scotland is perceived as a region with a large pool of highly skilled and specialized workforce. That, needless to say, gives companies a competitive edge. And now Indian immigrants are adding to Scotland’s human resources pool in a big way. Scotland also has a very close and productive collaboration between government, business innovators, finance leaders and institutions of higher learning.
Our stress has always been on quality projects with quality companies leading to high-value jobs. They have Indian companies collaborating with financial services companies in Scotland in fields such as software product and development, IT supply chain and high-level back-end operations, and have Indian companies in life sciences taking advantage of the world-leading skills available in Scotland.
The ‘Fresh Talent’ initiative was launched some years ago in order to respond to Scotland’s future demographic trends, which is bound to impact its economic future, by recognizing the benefits of a more skilled and diverse workforce. Scottish universities and colleges have, since June 2005, yielded 7,953 international graduates, who have taken the opportunity provided by the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland scheme to apply to stay on in the country after they are done with their studies.
The scheme allows graduates from Scottish universities and colleges to apply to stay and work in the country without a work permit. The initiative is aimed at encouraging and enabling people to relocate to Scotland and allowing international students to remain in Scotland for two years after graduation. It has also helped boost the international element in Scottish life and economy, and has promoted Scotland as an ideal place to live, study, work and do business.
There are many Indian students who have availed themselves of this facility. They have chosen to stay on and work in Scotland so that they can put the knowledge and skills they have learnt into practice. International work experience enhances future employability across the world.
In Scotland, international graduates add a significant amount of talent to the job market while giving Scottish businesses access to language skills and a culturally diverse workforce. For young Indian students, the Fresh Talent scheme also offers the option to start their own business for which they receive support from Enterprise Scotland.
Besides Fresh Talent, the Relocation Advisory Service (RAS) in Scotland offers a service to simplify the process for people to relocate to, work and live in Scotland. Employers can refer any potential employees to RAS to help with questions they might have about living in Scotland, allowing their HR staff to handle the employment details.
A team of advisers offer help on the possibilities and practicalities of moving to Scotland. Queries on visas, work permits, becoming a student, finding a job, setting up a business or anything else about moving to Scotland, are answered by the RAS.
‘Graduates for Business’ is yet another popular Scottish Enterprise initiative, operating in key locations across Scotland. The program helps graduates to jump-start their career by giving them the experience of working with companies on 3-12-month projects linked to their discipline.
It offers graduates an opportunity to work in business, using their skills and earning a salary while gaining vital experience. There are a wide range of opportunities available through the program and it has helped overseas graduates, who have used their Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme visas to stay on, to gain success.
In Scotland, the largest concentration of Indians is in the west with further, sizeable communities in Edinburgh and the Lothians, Tayside, Fife, Grampian and Central Scotland. There is a long history of migration from the Indian subcontinent to Scotland, but figures rose in the 1950s and 1960s, when growing British industries encountered labor shortages and migrant workers from Commonwealth countries such as India came to their aid.
Indian restaurants are very popular in Scotland and are found in almost every Scottish town. Edinburgh and Glasgow boast top Indian restaurants. Besides the restaurant business, which now has a turnover of around pounds 20 million a year,