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Bringing Overseas Tech Workers to Work in the UK in the post-Brexit world

23rdJune 2016 saw 52% of voters, vote in favor of The United Kingdom leaving The European Union.

Prior to this, the UK Tech industry had a steady stream of highly skilled workers from the EU. The CV’s of fluent English speaking candidates hailing from places such as Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece were available in abundance, in comparison to the seemingly lack of domestic talent.

And then, almost overnight… It stopped.

EU Citizens could legally still relocate to the UK to live and work up until 11pm on 31st January 2020, but it quickly became clear that the appetite to relocate to a country that had voted to leave the EU had dwindled.

What is the Situation in 2022?

Fast forward 6 years to 2022 and the competition for tech talent in the UK has never been tougher. The skills gap is regularly being cited as one of the big challenges facing this country and the Engineering and Technology markets are a prime example of this.

Local candidates are slowly returning to the market after a prolonged period of ‘covid-induced’ job seeking abstinence and from a recruiters point of view; they can be tempted away from their current employer, given the right job offer and employment conditions.

The only problem for companies looking to hire is that the market is undeniably competitive. It is what we call ‘a candidate driven market’, they have the pick of employers, whereas it use to be the other way around. Current employers are also more willing than ever to throw in the proverbial kitchen sink in order to retain their top talent.

What is the solution?

  1. If Covid-19 has taught the employment market anything, it is that many job roles can effectively be carried out remotely. More and more UK companies are building globally diverse and remote teams of tech staff.
  2. Unless your company has a legal entity in the country of the worker, you most often cannot offer them a permanent contract of employment. Many Tech firms navigate this by hiring workers as contractors who work for them indefinitely, instead of hiring them permanently. Obviously this would not be an option if your business relies on the physical presence of your technical staff on-site.
  3. One other solution if to offer sponsorship to migrant workers. Historically many employers refused to offer sponsorship, considering it too much of a burden on their HR Departments; however in the face of the current adverse hiring conditions, we have seen a shift towards a willingness to offer sponsorship. So perhaps it might be time to consider a change?

How to get a sponsorship license to work abroad:

  1. Research the costs involved. They will differ depending on your companies size.
  2. Consider the cost benefit of outsourcing the requirement. There is an abundance of companies out there who act as consultancies and will hold your hand through the process and assist you in reaching a successful conclusion.
  3. Contacting the home office for a sponsorship license.
  4. Make a request for a license, for the candidate you wish to hire.
  5. Await your response and act accordingly.

The number of companies offering UK Visa Sponsorship to technical staff is set to continue to rise over the coming years, here at Insignis we make it our mission to attract some of the best talent to UK shores. If you need any support, why not get in touch with us .

Other blogs you might be interested in…

  1. Your Job Search: Don’t Put A Foot Wrong
  2. What is the ‘Great Reshuffle’?

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For support with your job search in manufacturing, engineering and technology, contact us.

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