New UK Immigration Rules To Help Tide Over Shortage Of Skilled Workers

  • Feb 21, 2020 GMT
  • Team Kalkine
New UK Immigration Rules To Help Tide Over Shortage Of Skilled Workers

The United Kingdom has turned back on its Immigration rules for students from foreign countries to help it tide over the temporary lack of skilled workforce created out of the labour movement restrictions ensuing from Brexit. The pullout from the European Union has started to create a serious dearth of skilled worker in the country. During the pre-Brexit era, the country benefited immensely due to the movement of skilled workforce from other European Union countries. Skilled yet cheaply hired workforce from these countries helped the United Kingdom become more competitive and its businesses were able to expend internationally. Other than that, many of the businesses were also able to shift part of their departments or divisions out of the United Kingdom to other cost-effective destinations. Owing to the more cost-effective operating environments in other European Union countries, such as cheap labor, cheap rentals and closeness to customers, British businesses were able to establish sourcing hubs in these countries while being able to serve a market of the size of the European Union. However, now with Brexit, enhanced taxation and immigration rules are in place, which is forcing people to leave the United Kingdom and British businesses, that had expanded into other European Union countries, are scaling back.

Prior to the Theresa May government coming to power, the immigration rules of United Kingdom would provide a two-year visa to Non-European union students to seek and get employed in the United Kingdom after the completion of their education. Many such high potential students then were able to stay back in the country and their residency status were later converted into citizenships. However, during the Theresa May Government, this two-year post-education permit period was reduced to only four months, resulting in a lot a smaller number of non-European union students staying back and working in the United Kingdom. This at the time was seen as an attempt to stop non-British people from stealing British jobs, but what it actually led to was more of other European Union workers taking up jobs in the United Kingdom, that would have been sourced from other parts of the world.

Now with the withdrawal from the European Union and more and more skilled people leaving the country, the United Kingdom is going back to the old visa regime with the belief that it will help it to tide through the temporary labour shortages in the country.

Below we have discussed five industry sectors in the United Kingdom, what their situation is in respect of labour requirements and how the new immigration rules are going to help them in the short to the medium term.

The Banking and Financial Services sector – The British banking and financial service sector was one of the largest beneficiaries of the erstwhile European Union regime regarding movement of people. The Union rules allowed banking and financial institutions to expand their businesses across Europe while being able to control the branches centrally from London. With the withdrawal from the European Union, there will now be different regulations governing operations in the United Kingdom and different regulations that would govern the European Union.

The operations of many of these institutions will now be decentralized, requiring more workforce and deployment of more resources. The new visa rules will help the country retain newly qualified, highly skilled people in this field for at least two years during which time the industry will have time to adjust to the new resource crunch.

The Automobile and high-tech industries sector -   Highly skilled workers from other European Union countries have had a great role to play in the development of this industry in the United Kingdom. The country, which exports nearly 70 per cent of its production of cars and other automobiles, is regarded as one of the largest and most sophisticated in the world. With the Brexit withdrawal, many of these workmen will either leave the United Kingdom or the cost of their employment will be more to their employers, who in short to medium-term period will make the operations more expensive and lead it to become less competitive.

The new immigration rules will help newly trained non-British workmen to be retained in the country for a longer time till new British workers are appropriately trained to take up their roles.

The Healthcare industry Sector - The severance of ties with the European Union is set to bring about structural changes in the way the health care industry functions in the United Kingdom and consequently on the business performance of the companies operating in it. The industry prides itself with the world-class doctors -its employees who are sometimes non-British workers who have gained their skillsets at British Universities and medical institutions. A sudden drop in their numbers could severely affect the sector.

The new immigration rules will help the country retain newly graduated highly skilled labour which will ameliorate most of the ill effects of the transition.

The Education sector – The education sector in the United Kingdom is also one of the biggest beneficiaries of the erstwhile European Union regulations.  The country was able to attract the brightest of scholars from all over Europe, making the United Kingdom one of the top education and research destinations of the world. The post-Brexit exodus of these people from the country could spell a great loss for the country. Many of the ongoing high value research work will either be restricted or be slowed down.

The new immigration rules will help the country retain most of these scholars beyond the time of their graduation to complete their research work.

The retail sector – The retail sector had been the recipient of low-cost immigrants from European Union which helped to make the industry competitive. However, now with the new regulations, these people would have to leave, or the cost of employment would increase for the retailers of UK. For the workers who leave the industry, the country would need an urgent replacement which is not coming from within the country. The unemployment rates in the country by the end of 2019 is the lowest since 1976. This means the country needs workers from outside the country.

The new visa regulations will allow the exodus of many of the part-time employed students working in the retail sector to slow down.

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