To mark its exit from the European Union, the UK is introducing a new 'points based immigration system', starting in 2021. Announced today, it contains all the components of a scheme aimed at attracting top people from elsewhere, plus something extra. Candidates will need to demonstrate that they can 'read, write and speak English.'
For some people in technology and quant jobs, this might be a problem.
The eFinancialCareers CV database provides an indication of the proportion of people who want to work in the City and who are native English speakers. Among all the candidates who uploaded CVs in search of London jobs in the past year, 57% were native English speakers.
However, this proportion fell considerably in some of the harder to recruit for roles like technology and quantitative finance. In technology, 50% of people uploading CVs to eFinancialCareers were native English speakers. In quantitative finance, just 35% were.
Of course, you don't have to be a native English speaker to speak English, and around 91% of the quants and technologists in our system said they speak English to a 'competent' standard, suggesting they'd pass the new immigration standard anyway.
Even so, that leaves nearly 10% who wouldn't. In a world where everyone is competing for the best tech and quant talent, this could be a problem. Clearly it helps to speak and write in English if you're going to work in London, but if you're a technologist or a quant the most important thing is that you can code and write an algorithm. Rather than improving their English language skills, some quants may decide to work elsewhere instead.
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