FT:WISSThe Fresh Talent: Working in Scotlan scheme has been launched since 22 June 2005. This scheme (FT:WISS) is part of Scottish Executive’s Fresh Talent Initiative to encourage people to consider living and working in Scotland and retain indigenous people who wish to begin, or to further, their career in Scotland.

UK Home Office annouced the lanuch of FT:WISS on its Working in the UK website. An in-country application form FLR(FT:WISS) is also available to download from the same website.

The applicant must have been awarded a undergraduate degree, Master’s degree, PhD degree, or an HND (High National Diploma) in a Scottish institution of higher or further education in the last 12 months. The scheme also requires that the applicant has lived in Scotland during the study, and intends to work in Scotland. A FT:WISS visa will grant the applicant two years of stay, during which no work permit is needed for working in UK.

The number of Chinese students in UK higher education is now the number one among the non-EU students. LinkChinese UK estimates there are more than 50,000 Chinese students are currently enrolled in UK higher or further eduation institutions. The statistics provided by Scottish Executive shows there were 3400 Chinese students in Scotland in 2002-03, among which 1467 were graduate students.

Being able to work in UK, either as a working experience, or as the first step of a long term career path, is attractive for Chinese students. Since getting a work permit is the major hurdle for overseas graduates to work in UK, the FT:WISS scheme will give them better prospect of finding a job in UK. This scheme will certainly provide Scottish educational institutions more competitive edge comparing with their English counterparts.