New UK Immigration Flexibility to Reduce Skill Gap Concerns

08 Apr 2019 | Posted by Carl Thomas

With so many concerns about Brexit at the end of March and the beginning of April, fears around UK work permits, visas, and immigration opportunities are greater than ever. Everyone appears to be uncertain about what the future will hold for UK visas and those who want to live and work in the country. However, the Spring statement made by UK chancellor Phillip Hammond has led to some reduction in the skill gap concerns that had been pervading the UK up to now.

Phillip Hammond announced on the 13th of march that the tier 2 work permit rules applying to NHS workers would be exempt from the typical cap on income. However, he also confirmed that the free movement of people throughout the EU will end and that it will finally be possible for the UK to take back control of their borders. According to Hammond, a vital element of the new UK work permit plan is to ensure that Britain has more control over who enters the country, but also to give the country access to the right skills.

The UK government has also proposed new elements to the immigration UK system that will give students more time to stay in the UK and look for employment following their studies. The aim of the new system will be to ensure that the UK continues to be a hub of essential skills for people around the world. Only a limited number of visas are issued under the tier 2 work permit skilled worker category each year.

Though PHS level occupations have already been prioritised in the certificate of sponsorship cycle, the removal of those jobs from the system will allow more roles to make their way into the country too. At a time when the UK is already suffering from a skills shortage, it's essential for the UK to do everything possible to welcome new people into the country with essential skills.

Although it's a positive move, some experts believe that there's a long way to go before the work permit in the UK is where it needs to be.