UK Tier 2 work permits ‘supporting tech firms’

06 Nov 2017 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A report has suggested that Britain’s technology sector is likely to avoid much of the negative impact expected to be caused by Brexit thanks to its widespread use of the UK Tier 2 work permit system.

Experts have suggested that Brexit is fuelling concerns of a skills shortage across the UK’s IT and tech industry due to the potential reduction in the number of skilled workers entering the UK from the EU.

According to research commissioned by Tech City UK and Nesta, however, most of the foreign workers employed across the IT industry are non-EU citizens hired by companies that have obtained a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence.

In fact, of the 13 per cent of EU workers who have been hired in the tech sector, more than half are actually non-EU nationals employed via Tier 2 work permits.

Currently, figures suggest that the number of foreign workers who were originally located outside the European Union account for 20 per cent of London’s tech workforce, while staff from within the EU make up just 11 per cent of the Capital’s IT labour.

Tech City UK statistics have also revealed that non-EU workers holding a Tier 2 work permits are likely to be better educated than their EU counterparts. Specifically, the research found that 17.6 per cent of international workers are qualified to either Masters or PhD level compared to just 12.5 per cent of EU workers.