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UK and India reveal scheme for young graduates

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak has unveiled a scheme together with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to allow 3,000 young Indian graduates to work and live in the UK for up to two years.

The route offering "once-in-a-lifetime" professional and cultural exchange opportunities will open in early 2023. Photo: pexels

The UK prime minister also stressed that the UK’s national security will "always be" the pre-condition for any UK-China engagement

The UK-India Young Professionals Scheme will be reciprocal and the launch is a “significant moment” for the two countries’ bilateral relationship, according to the UK government.

“I know first-hand the incredible value of the deep cultural and historic ties we have with India,” Sunak said.

“I am pleased that even more of India’s brightest young people will now have the opportunity to experience all that life in the UK has to offer – and vice-versa – making our economies and societies richer.”

It also shows a wider commitment to “forging stronger links with the Indo-Pacific region to strengthen both our economies”, the UK government added.

With more links than almost any country in the Indo-Pacific region, India is a focus for the UK and a trade deal is currently under negotiation. The UK-India trading relationship is already worth £24 billion.

The UK also pointed to the importance of India as a source for international students, pointing to the fact that almost a quarter of all international students in the UK are from India.

“The Indo-Pacific is increasingly crucial for our security and our prosperity. It is teeming with dynamic and fast-growing economies, and the next decade will be defined by what happens in this region,” Sunak added.

The UK prime minister also stressed that the UK’s national security will “always be” the pre-condition for any UK-China engagement, ahead of a planned meeting with Chinese president Xi at the G20 Summit in Indonesia on November 15, which was cancelled at the last minute.

“The Indo-Pacific is increasingly crucial for our security and our prosperity”

The UK also offers a Youth Mobility Scheme for young people aged 18 to 30 from Australia, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino and Iceland, in addition to a separate Youth Mobility Scheme ballot for eligible individuals from Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

India is the first visa-national country to benefit from the young professionals exchange program, the UK added, “highlighting the strength of the UK-India Migration and Mobility Partnership agreed last year“.


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