Overseas skills 'only attracted by £30,000-plus'

A new report highlights the difference the £30,000 salary threshold makes for skilled foreigners looking for jobs in the UK, and the potential problem sectors.

applicants for uk jobs by overseas professionals are rising
Foreign professionals searching job vacancies in the UK show considerable interest in roles paying above £30,000 - coincidentally, the current minimum salary for visas for skilled workers from outside the EU - but precious little interest in posts with lower salaries, according to a new report.The research, part of jobs site Indeed’s Work Shift report, found the marked lack of appeal of any skilled job paying less than £30,000 even applied to workers from the EU who are currently not subject to the visa threshold, which is set to be reduced to £25,600 when new immigration rules come into effect next year.

UK jobs with over £30,000 salaries most sought after

An analysis was carried out of millions of vacancies advertised on the UK platform of Indeed's global jobs site to find the roles which received the most clicks from both Europe and the rest of the world.“UK jobs in higher education and tech are easily the most popular among overseas workers,” says Pawel Adrjan, UK economist at Indeed.“These are professional roles, which require specific training or expertise and often have a salary over £30,000 – meaning they are not affected by the current standard minimum salary threshold for non-EU immigrants.

Key challenges for 2020 Brexit trade negotiations

Mr Adrjan continues, “But what a difference a few thousand pounds makes. Other jobs which are similarly skilled but which pay just below the standard £30,000 threshold see less interest from overseas applicants, even though EU citizens are currently able to come to Britain to do such work without restrictions.“There are thousands of roles in vital sectors that require skilled people to do them, but which pay far less than £30,000 and are suffering from a shortage of domestic talent. "Finding a formula that allows highly skilled candidates to come from abroad to meet this need will be one of the key challenges of this year’s Brexit trade negotiations.

Potential difficulties in recruiting for many business sectors

“Record employment and declining interest of European jobseekers in British jobs mean businesses in many sectors could find it increasingly difficult to hire workers: migration flows are one way to release that pressure", adds Mr Adrjan.

Which jobs are investigated most and least?

Popular higher education roles included posts such as fellow, senior fellow and post-doctoral fellow, while the most popular tech jobs were Android developer, SAP consultant, senior Java developer and machine learning engineer.But just 12 per cent of overseas clicks investigated chemist vacancies and there was only a seven per cent interest in researcher job listings, with these skilled jobs paying an average of £27,500 and £28,900 respectively.
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Indeed’s analysis also showed how workers in different parts of the world were drawn to certain highly skilled UK jobs. For instance, the most popular role among Indian jobseekers searching Indeed for a job in Britain was software engineer. In fact, more than a fifth of all searches for UK vacancies made by Indians were for tech jobs.By contrast, interest among American tech professionals in UK jobs was found to have declined over the past two years, with the share of searches by US-based tech workers falling from 17.1 per cent in 2017 to 13.6 per cent in 2019.

Read more news and views from David Sapsted.

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