Open Business; Closed Borders

The Viability of International Talent Exchange via Graduate Trainee Schemes

This study aims to support the theory that fostering global citizenship in the financial industry through global graduate trainee positions is beneficial to the company and to the country to which the trainees are immigrating. obcb-word-blockResearch Questions

How can financial institutions foster global citizenship in recent graduates and protect domestic workforces while contributing to the global economy?

  • What are the governments’ motives for restricting highly skilled immigration in each country?
  • What are the banks motives for sponsoring highly skilled immigrants despite the cost?
  • Are international recent graduates choosing to relocate to countries with more open immigration policies when faced with the challenges of visa restrictions?
  • Are countries that allow a larger percentage of highly skilled immigrants into their country faring better economically?


  • Governments, universities, companies, and economists all agree that highly skilled immigration helps spur economic growth and is beneficial to global companies.
  • When the economy suffers, citizens tend to turn against immigrants, highly and low skilled. In response, the government tightens immigration restrictions in order to ensure they please the public vote for the next election.
  • Global companies still push for the ability to recruit internationally during economic downturns but this tends to be at the management level.
  • Recruiting internationally at the graduate level will allow global banks to foster global citizens that will likely stay with the company for a longer period of time regardless of if they change locations.obcb-findings
  • “…we do not discriminate either way.  [We hire] The best candidate for the job at all times. .” – Recruiter 3, Royal Bank of Scotland Head of Early Career, London, UK
  • “We want to make sure our rules are amongst the toughest in the world” – Mark Harper, Minister of Immigration, UK
  • “We do not gain from adopting a closed-door policy.” – Deputy Prime Minister Shunmugam Jayakumar, Singapore

If borders are opened to young skilled workers in the same way borders have been opened to products and capital, highly skilled laborers will move to the location where they are most productive and effective. Opening the borders of nation-states to the free movement of highly skilled labor capital is the last step in truly liberalizing and globalizing the world.

Read the full results here: Open Business; Closed Borders

Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions or would like to collaborate.