Is Skill Shortage in the UK a blessing for Immigrant Workers?

Is Skill Shortage in the UK a blessing for Immigrant Workers?

After Brexit national economy became somewhat fragile and made a stop to free movement of labor with the EU. Before Brexit citizens from both the European Union and UK were able to live and work in any other EU country without needing a work visa. However, after Brexit freedom of movement between the two came to an end.

Also many EU nationals started leaving Britain soon after Brexit. According to the experts it has significantly affected labor shortage in the country specially in low skilled sectors including logistics, construction and hospitality. Research paper shows the UK has lost an estimated 460,000 EU workers after Brexit. The situation became more severe after the covid 19 pandemic as many workers didn’t return to work after the pandemic was over.

Lower wage sectors such as transportation and storage have shown a downfall of 8 percent in the total number of workers in the sector. Reduction in labor supply is directly affecting the country’s economic development. On the other hand, staff shortage has become a nuisance for both businesses and consumers. Number of vacancies in the UK has been increasing over the past few years.

The country is facing an employment crisis. Sadly, there aren’t many Britons looking for jobs to fill this worker shortage. Some businesses are losing their standards due to the shortage of skilled workers. Productivity of the country has lowered and the UK government is getting pressurized for urgent solutions. The labor shortage has largely contributed to the rising cost of living. According to the Bank of England slow growth in population is also directly affecting the shortage of labor supply.

The government of the UK had announced a crackdown on the immigration population in the UK. The country is strictly against illegal migrations. On the other hand, many industrial specialists think the country should let in more migrants in order to address the ongoing skill shortage as an immediate solution.

Many businesses from all sectors are thinking of adding sponsor licenses, which give them the ability to employ nonresident labor as an essential part to run their business. Some experts think that Britain should consider more migrants from countries with rapidly growing populations rather than waiting till the EU residents return back to the UK.

Still the country follows a point base system for people wanting to work in the UK. An applicant should obtain sufficient points to be eligible to apply for a skilled worker visa. These points are calculated based on the qualifications, working experience, age and the English language skills. Having an offer letter from a skilled job from an approved employer will add more marks for the applicant.

There may be additional marks for the amount of salary that has been offered. Skill visas are granted for five years with possible extension. Government at present has announced care workers, graphic designers, nurses and vets under the shortage occupation list. This list gets updated from time to time according to the demand created in employment in different sectors.

At present there are several ways the migrants can enter Briton. The Global talent visa, which eliminates workers' job offer letters to enter the country, graduate visa for international students and global business mobility visa.

According to the Office for National Statistics there are approximately 1.2 million job vacancies open in Briton. The skill shortage is continuing to grow especially in sectors such as health care, science, engineering and hospitality. With the ongoing tough laws on immigration will the UK be able to handle its labor crisis?

The experts suggest that the government should focus more on high skilled immigration. This may include High Potential Individual visa and graduate visa schemes. But many industrial specialists say it is very workable to add less skilled occupations such as care workers and chefs to the shortage occupation list at least for a shorter period.

They also suggest that the payments for workers should be increased in order to attract more workers from different nations to Britain. Also the NHS surcharge and Immigration Skills Charge should be lowered.

Some have even suggested the government to withdraw the English language requirement and to speed up the visa processing time. Temporary seasonal worker visa programme to update including other sectors is another suggestion to address the ongoing shortage of workers.

However, the UK has notably increased its seasonal worker visas to 40, 000 in the year 2022 a huge increase from the 2500 visas in 2019. At the same time the UK has increased issuing visas in the care sector.

Other than the European Union countries, many from developing nations are trying to immigrate to countries such as the UK for better facilities, good income and for better education. This is kind of the best deal for such people with proper qualifications in their field of work. There can be a better chance of obtaining a work visa or even a seasonal work visa to the UK during this time period.

In the meantime, the UK government is looking at possible avenues to attract the best and the brightest around the world to work in the UK. This means there’s a hope of new migration laws, new visa programs to be introduced by the UK government in near future.

It is also important to do a background study before jumping into the opportunities from foreign nations. For example, the UK economy is performing worse than most of the other major nations at present. Their economy has shrunk largely after the covid 19 pandemic.

The country’s government has mentioned that they are already facing a recession and as a result the companies in the country are losing their profits and increasing unemployment.

The cost of living has gone up and as a result the living standards have dropped. Jobs in demand may be the low pay, more conditioned ones. But in near future more changes in migration laws in the UK can be expected and these new changes may offer better opportunities for the migrant workers. In that case people who come to UK looking for a job will have a better pay and they can send money online to their families living in Sri Lanka, India and other foreign countries.

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