UK architect companies will not be affected by changes to Tier 2 work permits, according to a new report.
A number of changes have been introduced to the Tier 2 work permit system under the UK Immigration Act, including the launch of an immigration skills charge of £1,000 per skilled non European Union employee every year. However, experts argue that architects already avoid the Tier 2 work permits category due to existing rules.
Published by the Architects’ Journal, the report suggested that the latest changes to Tier 2 work permits will only encourage the industry’s firms to further avoid recruiting non-EU staff, particularly in light of an increase in salary threshold from £25,000 to £30,000.
According to Jennifer Guillain, director of finance and development at Hoskins Architects, firms were expected to “jump through hoops” to hire non-EU staff before the new rules were even considered, resulting in many avoiding the process completely.
Guillain said: “When we advertise a vacancy, we get swamped by applications from resident workers. It makes no sense to hire someone without a visa ahead of those applicants who fit the profile and have a right to work in the UK.”
Dave Madden, director of architectural recruitment agency Mustard, agreed that he doesn’t believe the changes to the immigration rules will have a great affect on the architecture industry.
“Not one of my clients would be happy to deal with us if the process involved a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence requirement. If a candidate can’t work in Britain, they are not interested,” he said. “It’s nothing personal, they just don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy of the Tier 2 visa system.”