Campaigning for UK ELT: positive signs for youth mobility and school group travel
Achieving political change is never a speedy process but we are quietly confident about hearing some positive news from the government this autumn.
Youth mobility becomes a government priority
The Treasury is now leading the team working on new and enhanced youth mobility agreements - a positive sign that the government is prioritising this.
We expect an announcement in early autumn. The initial focus is on countries currently in the youth mobility scheme, where demand is higher than the current visa allocation. We also expect some new countries to be added in due course. We're not allowed to say yet which countries are being considered.
Youth mobility is one of our key campaigning areas and we are delighted the government is finally taking action, after much lobbying from us and other sectors.
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France youth group travel solution expected this autumn
We had a positive meeting about youth group travel with the UKVI's student migration policy unit in June, together with members of English UK London and Business LDN.
We expect an announcement in the autumn on a solution to simplify youth group travel between the UK and France. Details are being worked out by a joint Home Office/ France working group. They will possibly (and hopefully) allow French school groups to travel with ID card travel and/ or the List of Travellers' form.
The scheme will be reviewed with the intention of extending it to other countries in Western Europe as the next step e.g. Germany, Italy, Spain.
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Recent meetings with supportive MPs
We had a very positive meeting with Nia Griffith, MP for Llanelli and Shadow Minister for Exports. Nia was sympathetic about the challenges our sector faces and plans to table questions on the youth group travel solution. We expect this to lead to further contact and collaboration.
Stephen Hammond MP for Wimbledon, who hosted our parliamentary reception, raised the issue of ELT student work rights during an urgent question in Parliament. Stephen is due to meet Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick MP to discuss the issue.
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Department for Business & Trade sets up ELT Action Group
Our colleagues in the education sector team at the Department for Business & Trade have set up an ELT Action Group. Its scope is more ambitious than their previous ELT Working Group, with a specific focus on the asks in our position paper. We look forward to the first meeting which will be held in September 2023.
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