The decision of the Government to provide young professionals who study in Mauritius with a 10-year renewable occupation permit will benefit Mauritius in the long term. This is the belief lf Nicolas Goldstein, co-founder and chief strategy and innovation officer at Talenteum. Talking to Le Matinal, he spoke of the absence of promotional campaigns to attract new foreign talents built around the talents who lived the Mauritius experience. “This is a considerable untapped advantage. Making it visible to the world that Mauritius is already home to high performers will attract other talents and strengthen the Mauritius brand as a whole” he said.
According to him, attracting and retaining foreign talents in Mauritius is now a must “The unemployment rate for professionals is close to zero in BPO. This sector needs new talent. I am convinced that over the years this decision will in turn help instill a new dynamism in local workplaces. It has been proved in countries like Dubai and Malaysia for example that the knowledge sharing behaviour of foreign talents have a positive cultural impact in general and often boost productivity too” he adds.
Nonetheless the fact that recovery will be digital may also affect local professionals who will find themselves competing with foreigners on the job market and having to upgrade skills at the same time. “While B2B companies have been historically slower than B2Cs to adopt new technologies, things have now changed. We are observing waves of technology adoption rates yet unseen by B2Bs at each pandemic waves. Companies are gearing up for the new world”” he observes. This new normal will have a sustained impact on sales, transactions and work in general. The only way out for Mauritius is to make sure that its companies and workforce have the skillset to grow and prosper in this brave new world. Upskilling is crucial.
To meet this challenge, the Government has announced in the 2021/2022 budget that it will setup a Digital Industries Academy that will provide trainees with on-the-job training as stipend costs will be shared with the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) and the private sector.
For over ten years, Mauritius has welcomed several professionals and retirees from Europe and South Africa who chose to settle down with their families, attracted by the idea of living and working from a low tax jurisdiction while benefiting from good internet speed and strong trade ties between Mauritius and Africa, Europe and Asia. The Global Wealth Migration Review of AfrAsia Bank shows that while there were 2500 High Net Worth Individuals in 2010, 4400 HNWIs now live in Mauritius.
Regarding foreign students, the Participation in Tertiary Education 2018 Report of the Tertiary Education Commission shows that there were 2380 foreign students enrolled in both public and private universities in Mauritius in that same year. A substantial and sustained increase as compared to 2010 when the internationalization of Mauritian tertiary education was first launched. There were then 596 of them enrolled and living on our shores back then.
For Nicolas Goldstein, the multiplier effect of a sound foreign talent management policy at national level “will increase income, increase consumption and increase GDP. Beyond wealth creation, it will also accelerate capacity building and the upskilling process and establish strong knowledge sharing culture in the workplace”.