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On Thursday 5th November K2 participated in a virtual meeting with the Midlands Global Mobility. This meeting reflects K2’s commitment to continued communication, support and connection during this time — even if done so virtually.

Previously, the MGMF meetings have always been in-person roundtables, but due to current restrictions amidst the pandemic, face to face meeting are unfortunately still not possible.

To kick off the virtual roundtable, Richard Rutledge, Executive Business Director, welcomed the group and gave an introductory update from K2, and introduced the panellists and the running order of the session.

The session was facilitated by Huw Thomas, UK Business Development Manager, Helen Squibb, Advisory Services Consultant and Dominique Dee, International Mobility Manager at Eversheds, who have all been involved with previous events with the MGMF community.

The session included a mix of presentations from our three panellists (Simon Higson, UK Immigration Manager, Johannes De Kam, Doctoral Researcher and Lecturer at University of Warwick, and Deborah Murphy, Advisory Services Consultant), as well as live questions and answers, group discussion and group activity.

Although unable to meet in person, the K2 team wanted to emulate a feeling of interconnectivity so webcams stayed on throughout the meeting, and everyone discussed topics openly and shared useful recommendations and experiences.

The session began with Simon Higson who provided an update on UK Immigration. After talking to the group about the key updates with regards to Brexit (Sponsorship Licence, New Points Based System and more), Simon also discussed the intricacies of covid-19 concessions. Simon highlighted that a number of immigration rules have been relaxed owing to covid-19 yet warned the group of the significant delays in application processes and the potential consequences of these delays. Simon also reminded the group of the key dates to be wary of, before finishing and discussing specific examples with the group and answering any questions that the attendees had.

After a brief coffee break, Johannes took a step back from discussing covid-19 in practice and worked with the group to reflect on the pandemic, and considered the learnings that could be taken from the group’s experiences.

Johannes described the pandemic as a transboundary crisis and explored the dynamics of the months we have experienced in global mobility. The group considered some key reflections on the past year, and looked at what we have learnt, which stakeholders have been involved and where the sources of information and knowledge have derived from. Johannes also illustrated how the crisis has led to creative initiatives, as previous solutions that we are familiar with, are often insufficient in today’s landscape, so we are therefore forced to be flexible and rework our strategies and global mobility approach.

Johannes then showed the group different ways that we can learn from a crisis. Johannes helped the group to learn through reflective practice, and the group discussed different considerations that have been learnt from their experience with covid-19. Notably, Johannes highlighted that we could learn from a crisis, but also during a crisis.

Johannes coordinated an interactive activity, which allowed the group to practically explore the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges that they have faced when conducting their global mobility plans during this turbulent time. This activity provided a valuable opportunity to step back and reflect on their response and approach and share ideas and experiences. Johannes provided a virtual flip chart – which allowed everyone to write their thoughts and share ideas, and from this the group engaged in an in-depth conversation where key ideas and considerations were discussed.

The group then heard from Deborah Murphy who shared research that K2 have conducted surrounding how covid-19 has impacted global mobility, and introduced a new tool that is available for global mobility professionals to help guide them through this time. The tool is called the Global Mobility Risk Assessment Pathway (RAP for short) and has been designed as a tool that global mobility professionals can use to support their decision making around assignments during this time.

This document provides an in-depth list of considerations (split out into nine categories and 29 sub-sections), which aim to provoke useful thinking and help with an individual approach to decision making. The tool can be considered as a 1-0-1 list of all the things to think about when evaluating decisions around assignments. The tool is scalable, and different users will find different sections more or less relevant at different times.

More information on the Risk Assessment Pathway- can be found here

Deborah then highlighted some key considerations for planning and moving forwards during this time. Deborah finished with a discussion surrounding the document, and whether the global mobility population are seeking opportunities to move, whether programmes are still going ahead, and whether these are virtual or in person, and what the short and long term future may look like.

The session concluded with some final comments from the group and a recap of key points learnt from throughout the session.

It was great to meet with the MGMF, and hopefully we will be able to host another session soon, either in person or virtually.

More about the MGMF:

The MGMF was started by a core team of in-house global mobility professionals working in the Midlands area, we invite other in-house global mobility professionals from the Midlands and surrounding area to come and take part and to build our own global mobility network and discuss matters in a secure environment.

Our events are currently being held online throughout 2020 and will provide the opportunity for global mobility professionals from the Midlands area to connect, network and share online – with the added opportunity of an open forum to also raise the pressing global mobility issues of the day.

Our next meeting will be held in Spring 2021

For more information or to join the network, please email the MGMF

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