Since the UK left the EU, the new business immigration laws have impacted many industries. Various industries in the UK have relied heavily on migrant workers to fill shortages and gaps,
And while some of the industry gaps are what you might expect, there are also significant gaps in industries you might not expect to suffer.
This article will discuss the top five industries impacted by the UK immigration law changes and what those changes are.
What are the new UK visa and immigration rules?
Since 2021, the UK has implemented a points-based visa and immigration system, following the format that both Canada and Australia use. Migrants can score points based on several criteria, including minimum salary, English proficiency, profession, and education qualifications.
You must have at least 70 points to obtain a UK work visa.
Here is a breakdown of the required criteria:
|Job at appropriate skill level||No||20|
|Offered a job by approved sponsor||No||20|
|Salary of £20,480 (minimum) – £23,039||Yes||0|
|Salary of £23,040 – £25,599||Yes||10|
|Salary of £25,600 or above||Yes||20|
|Speaks English at required level||No||10|
|Education qualification: PhD in subject relevant to the job||Yes||10|
|Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job||Yes||20|
|Job in a shortage occupation||Yes||20|
Therefore, if the applicant speaks English, is offered a skilled role, and has an approved sponsor, they still need to earn over £25,600 to achieve the 70-point threshold.
As you can see from the example above, it can be extremely difficult to achieve the necessary points to qualify for a working visa in the UK.
Top 5 Industries Impacted by Immigration Law
One glance at the UK shortage occupation list will tell you that several roles within the science sector are currently experiencing shortages. Some of the most common shortages, and the ones that the UK government is actively trying to fill, include physical scientists, biochemists, and biological scientists.
Such is the shortage in these areas that if you have a PHD in one of these subjects, you could gain 20 points on your Tier 2 working Visa.
Another industry impacted by UK immigration law was the technology sector. New immigration law has made it difficult for the UK to attract essential workers, such as cybersecurity specialists, programmers and software developers.
These jobs also fall under the education classification aspect of a tier 2 working visa and could result in 20 points added to the application.
Another sector that has seen issues in supply since the UK immigration law changed in engineering. As the UK highlights on its shortages list, they are currently experiencing shortages in electrical, mechanical, and civil engineers. If you have a relevant qualification in any of these roles, you could be entitled to 20 points to get added to your Visa application.
One common misconception is that the only shortage within the hospitality sector is for chefs. Still, many other shortages mean the hospitality sector is struggling with the UK immigration laws. The industry lacks executives, sous, specialists, and head chefs, but the hospitality sector is also facing other difficulties.
The restaurants and hotels sector has the highest level of vacancies as a percentage of employment.
Despite these shortages, less-specialists roles such as waiters, bartenders, reception staff, and cleaners might not have access to the Tier 2 Visa option because of the minimum wage requirement of £30,000.
Medical and Healthcare Sector
Although the amount of shortages in the NHS staff is calculated differently by many people, some experts believe that there could be a shortfall of almost 250,000 healthcare personnel by 2030.
The shortage occupation list contains social workers, paramedics, medical radiographers, speech and language therapists, nurses, medical practitioners, and occupational therapists.
The healthcare sector has had to battle austerity for the last decade, with the government opting to make significant cuts to public sector spending.
While some might say that it is too much to say the NHS is faced with an existential crisis, the pressure on the health system is higher than ever before.
When you consider other factors, such as rising demand for healthcare services and an ageing population, you can see why the medical sector is struggling now that immigration laws are stricter on those that want to come and work within it.
Summary and Key Takeaways
By distancing itself from the EU back in 2020, the UK now finds itself open to the rest of the world like never before. Despite what some people believe, Brexit does not bring an end to the immigration of talent into the UK. Instead, the UK must reconsider the economic model within the country and identify what skillsets they need to drive it.
Time will tell if amends are made to the Tier 2 visa system, but it is likely the points on offer will begin to change based on what shortages the UK is experiencing at the time.
One thing can be counted on. If the UK manages to implement a great visa system in the near future that allows skilled workers to come and fill the gaps in these industries, the UK could see a thriving workforce and economy in the near future.