There are skills shortages in certain areas with many UK employers having to recruit from abroad to find suitable staff.
The vast majority for roles like welding, bench joinery, warehousing, CNC operators with in engineering and the care sector can be found within the European Union but not always.
It’s important for companies to understand the UK’s various routes of entry for foreign workers from outside the European Union. This is especially true for businesses in skills shortage areas such as in healthcare where RGN nurses are in very short supply or specialised engineering where maybe 3D modelling skills are required. Although we have come across one Turkish takeway that couldn’t get the cooking skills required and got a Tier 2 visa discussed below.
While it was not too difficult in the past for a highly skilled individual to immigrate to the UK without a job offer or sponsorship from an employer, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has recently closed this route to overseas applicants.
However, the UK Government still allows employers to sponsor overseas workers via the Tier 2 (general) visa.
The sponsorship process involves an employer being approved by the UK Border Agency to hire overseas workers by being granted a Sponsorship License. This grants the employer the ability to issues Certificates of Sponsorship to overseas workers that the employer wishes to hire.
A company must meet certain requirements to sponsor migrant workers including but not limited to the following:
• The company must be a genuine trading entity operating legally in the United Kingdom
• The company must not be a threat to immigration control
• The company must designate a contact person who is an authorising officer for the sponsorship management system
• The company must have an HR infrastructure in place to deal with immigration control
• The company must provide all relevant supporting documents when applying
These requirements can be of particular concern for smaller businesses on a budget. Smaller businesses may not have the resources to deal with all the requirements for sponsorship licensing.
It is a route best avoided because it is costly and time consuming so we recommend clients exhaust the European Union route and in our experience Polish Workers’ can be found to fulfil most roles.
If your supplier is struggling to match your requirements for non fiscal reasons then try a specialist recruiter.
Such organisations can guide you through Tier 2 visa application but be warned it is not user friendly.
Author: Chris Slay
Skills Provision will allow our articles/quotes to be reproduced on other formats as long as full accreditation is given.
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