UK work permit shortages pose threat to financial sector

29 Nov 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The recent changes to the UK work permit system have been the focus of debate since the government first announced its plans to seriously reduce levels of immigration.

Arguments have been made suggesting from both sides, with government supporters and others suggesting that the stricter regulations will help deal with the high unemployment levels among people already living in Britain.

On the other hand, business groups are concerned that the restrictions will prevent companies from accessing top international talent, which could eventually damage certain specialist sectors and hamper the country's - already struggling - economic recovery.

Unfortunately, recent comments back up the latter argument when it comes to the finance sector. Kay Senior, operations director of banking and financial services at recruitment firm Badenoch & Clark, told efinancialcareers.co.uk: “We are certainly experiencing a severe shortage of newly qualified professionals in the financial services sector, which could be a consequence of the amended rules.”

The issue is being felt in the contractor market for accountants in particular, since “a majority” of these candidates tend to come across from Australia or New Zealand.

Now that they are struggling to get hold of the necessary work permits, many are opting to look at destinations with a more favourable quality of life because the hassle of finding employment in Britain is no longer worth it.