Chronic Skills Shortage within the tech sector
Within the ‘tech’ sector in the UK there continues to be what could be termed as a ‘chronic shortage’ of supply from the local labour market. This may come initially as a surprise to many, given that this sector has contributed more than £90 billion to the UK economy coffers and boasts an average salary that many can only dream of. Conversely digital skills shortage has been attributed to the existence of one in five job vacancies in the UK and places a stranglehold on many companies who are unable to realise their competitive potential, subsequently becoming less attractive as a possible destination for those abroad searching for ambitious, innovative and dynamic destinations in which to invest.
A conclusion that may be drawn from this is that there exists a clear mismatch in the types of skills offered by the domestic labour market and those demanded by a large proportion of UK employers. From both a home-grown and long-term perspective this is an issue that needs to be tackled in tandem by both the government and employers by way of equipping and attracting more young people, especially female, through inspirational and motivational means, towards the advantages of a career within digital technology.
However, in the short-term it appears that the UK tech economy cannot survive on home-grown talent alone. There is therefore the need to be mindful of keeping the UK as a welcoming and desirable destination, to rival other internationally significant tech centres, so that opportunities still exist for those talented individuals who may in the future be drawn towards tech employment. This has led to the existence of ongoing government reforms to attract those from outside the EU in the face of the UK’s leaving. Amber Rudd stated in November of last year that the thriving digital technology sector is at the centre of industrial strategy and as a reflection of “the importance of these innovative industries to the UK”, has increased the number of visas available through the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route, doubling from 1,000 to 2,000 a year.
The Visa Office has more than 20 years’ experience providing guidance and representation for both corporate and private clients and always aims to provide a personal service which is tailored towards the individual needs of the client. For Tier 1 & Tier 2 clients this incorporates:
- An initial visa route appraisal – sometimes sponsorship isn’t best option.
- Provision of full representation for those who are making applications outside or inside the UK.
- Help in conducting a fully compliant Resident Labour Market Test.
- Requesting a Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship and full support in the generation of all appropriate supporting documents.
- Once allocated the assigning of Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship.
- Full representation, document support, and representation for those applying for sponsorship licences.
- A first 12 month Immigration Advisory Service (IAS): conducting of compliance audits in order to prepare sponsors for H.O. Compliance inspections; to ensure Compliance with the Home Office efficient use of compulsory Home Office Sponsor Management System.
- Auditing of and renewing of sponsorship licences alongside full HR training and on-going support with regard to Right to Work processes and procedures.
Written By Peter Shannon, Private Immigration Adviser