India leads rise in searches for UK jobs

Interest among overseas workers in jobs in Britain have almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels, according to new research by Indeed, the world's largest jobs site.

The notable exception to this trend has been in the European Union, which has seen a 36 per cent decline in UK job searches over the past two years, primarily in lower-paid roles in sectors such as hospitality, food and retailing.In fact, the analysis of UK job searches by foreign workers on Indeed - undertaken to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the Brexit referendum - found that those originating in Europe had fallen by almost half since the 2016 vote."The declining interest in British jobs among EU-based workers cannot be attributed solely to the pandemic," said the Indeed report."Although interest in UK jobs from all foreign workers fell during 2020, searches from outside the EU have since rebounded nearly to pre-pandemic levels, while interest from the EU has continued to fall – especially in lower-paid jobs which are most affected by post-Brexit immigration rules."The declining interest from the EU, coming as interest from the rest of the world is rising, may be attributed to the ending of freedom of movement for EU citizens at the beginning of 2021."Meanwhile, Indeed found that interest from workers outside the EU had now largely stabilised and had actually increased by 39 per cent since 2019 in the case of higher-paid roles such as in tech, finance, medicine and engineering.The fastest rising interest in UK jobs has come from India, followed by Hong Kong, Nigeria, Pakistan and Ireland. Jobseekers from India and Pakistan have been clicking most on software development jobs, while Nigerian workers have been most interest in on nursing roles. Administrative support roles are the most popular among people from Ireland and Hong Kong.The two notable, non-EU exceptions to the rise in searches for UK jobs have been the US and Australia, both of which remain subject to Covid-19 travel bans.Overall, software developer roles have attracted most interest from foreign candidates, followed the mathematics category, which includes analyst and data scientist jobs. Engineering, architecture, scientific research, financial services, and media and communications roles are also attracting high levels of interest from overseas.Jack Kennedy, UK economist at Indeed, said: “As the UK’s economy reopens and job postings rebound to pre-pandemic levels, two distinct pictures are emerging for employers looking to hire talent from abroad.“On the one hand, employers offering higher salaries, particularly in sectors such as tech, science and engineering, may have no trouble replacing EU workers, as jobseekers from the rest of the world are showing a keen and increasing interest in those roles.“But lower-paid roles are not receiving the same attention from foreign workers as they did only two years ago.“It means domestic workers may be required to fill the gaps. However, with many sectors, including hospitality, already struggling to recruit all the staff they need, higher salaries may be required to attract UK workers to fill those roles."

Read more news and views from David Sapsted.

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