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UK could open doors to thousands of young Europeans to plug workforce gaps

NewsUK could open doors to thousands of young Europeans to plug workforce gaps

Thousands of young Europeans could be allowed to come to Britain for two years under plans to plug gaps in the workforce.

The Home Office has reportedly started talks with a number of EU countries to agree more youth mobility schemes after being asked by Downing Street.

The move is aimed at boosting the economy without adding to record levels of net migration.

Any agreements would be reciprocal meaning young Brits would be able to travel and move in other countries.

The length of stay, age criteria and type of jobs are likely to be tailored depending on the nation.

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A source told the Sunday Times: “This is the one way that you can restore some of the things the younger generation felt were ripped away from them as well as boosting the economy.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick are said to be receptive to the proposals because young workers put less pressure on public services.

The source added: “There are a number of advantages. They generally don’t count towards net migration, they have a good history of compliance and so there are not a lot of overstayers.”

Mrs Braverman and Mr Jenrick reportedly want agreements with individual countries rather than an EU-wide deal.

But plans could be derailed by the European Commission, which insists the area falls within its remit.

Some members of the European Commission are reportedly demanding any deal must involve all 27 member states.

But the UK is understood to be arguing that several member states already have their own agreements with countries that are not part of the bloc.

The UK currently has youth mobility vias schemes with 10 non-EU countries including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Iceland.

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.

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