More and more in recent years, there’s been talk of a great skills shortage in the UK. This has been particularly the case since the UK left the EU and changed its immigration laws. Since that time, the UK has seen a sudden drop in necessary workers in many important industries. All important healthcare workers, construction workers and teachers are just a few areas where the UK is feeling the crunch of its skills shortage.
The UK is and always has been a top destination for people to work, live and study. It’s a hub for businesses today. And the continuing skills shortage is having a big impact on various industries and the country as a whole. As the country continues to emerge from its dramatic exit from the EU, new information on the skills shortage and the impact on certain industries has been made even greater. And what it means currently and in the future is becoming clearer.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the skills shortage in 2022 and what it means now and in the future. We’ll also discuss business immigration law and why it’s important to understand for businesses looking to fill the skills shortages in their own businesses.
What has caused the skills shortage?
The skills shortage the UK is facing is largely a direct consequence of leaving the EU and creating its own points-based system. But it has been a problem in some industries for a long time even before the UK left. The UK has relied heavily on overseas labour for decades. And the effects are being felt in some industries much more than others.
When the UK cut its ties with the EU, hundreds of thousands of EU workers began an exodus. Many of these workers filled the lower-skilled job vacancies such as labourers and construction workers and healthcare support workers. In parallel with the UK’s exit from the bloc came new immigration laws, regulations and business immigration laws. The new points-based system introduced by the government, in particular, has meant that these lower-skilled positions are proving hard to fill. This is because this system is set up to attract and allow more degree-level jobs and more highly skilled workers to come in and keep lower-skilled workers out.
Occupations most affected
The skills shortage has caused deeper rifts in some occupations more than others. In general, lower-skilled work is seeing the highest skills shortages. But this isn’t the entire case. Scientists and graphic designers are among two occupations that aren’t low-skilled work that is suffering a skilled worker shortage.
The UK has faced a shortage of nurses for a long time. But the chasm has been made deeper in recent years.
Pharmacists were added to the UK’s shortage occupation list in 2021. There’s approximately an 8% vacancy rate in hospitals alone.
Civil engineers. Mechanical engineers. Electrical engineers. All types of engineers are in high demand for work all around the UK.
Construction shortages have been one of the most talked about and longest-running skills shortages in the UK.
Secondary school teachers in particular fields such as physics, mathematics and foreign languages are in particular need in the UK.
Business immigration law
Businesses and industries needing to fill the skills shortages need to understand how business immigration law has changed. The new points-based system and the change in policies have meant businesses are having to learn and adapt and many seek help to hire the workers they need to fill the empty vacancies from abroad.
Immigration law is stricter now than it has been in a long time. It’s become harder for UK businesses to hire migrants to work and live in the UK. Experts in business immigration law, such as solicitors trained in this area, can help businesses navigate and comply with the complex immigration laws. By hiring workers through the correct procedures of business immigration law, businesses can continue to plug the skills shortages.
The future of industries with skills shortages
There has been an effort for a long time to fill the skills shortages for some time. And the conversation around the UK’s skills shortages and the impact it’s having, especially since the UK left the UK, has been raging.
Many important industries that help the country run are still being affected. And while the data is still coming in, the future of some industries, such as healthcare, is beginning to look brighter. Businesses and institutions such as the NHS can work with the new points-based system to manage visas and applications for skilled talent that meet the payment thresholds set out by the government.
But other industries, such as construction, are still feeling the bite. These lower-skilled areas are still suffering major skills shortages. This is especially problematic and the gap is made even larger by the fact that the UK government has pledged lots more construction work around the country, such as new homes to tackle the housing crisis, the building of the HS2 line and a new Heathrow runway.
All in all, the future of industries with skills shortages looks different depending on the industry. Businesses need to get up to speed with the new business immigration laws and policies and work to bring in more talent from overseas to help. So long as the discussion continues, the skills shortages should be able to be mended gradually over time.
HR Future Staff Writer.