UK jobs more popular outside the EU

For the first time in almost seven years, the number of professionals from outside the EU making online searches for jobs in the UK is greater than the total of Europeans doing the same thing.

Analysis by Indeed, the world's largest jobs site, found that during the past year the share of clicks on UK vacancies by candidates based outside the EU had risen by a 19.7 per cent. On the other hand, searches by workers within the bloc had barely changed, increasing by just 1.3 per cent since 2019.The subdued interest among European workers in coming to the UK, which began after the 2016 Brexit referendum, is believed to reflect concerns over the UK's new immigration system, which signals the end of freedom of movement and which comes into force on January 1. Meanwhile, the surge in interest from non-EU countries has been partially driven by the UK government’s offer of a path to citizenship to about three million people from Hong Kong holding British National (Overseas) passports, following Beijing’s imposition of a National Security Law on the former colony.Jack Kennedy, UK economist at Indeed, commented: “As the free movement to the UK for EU citizens ends, interest is increasingly coming from further afield."For the first time in seven years, the average job on in the UK is attracting greater interest from non-EU jobseekers than from those from EU countries. A number of occupations, typically at the higher end of the pay scale, have seen significant uplifts in non-EU click shares in 2020 compared with last year. In contrast, EU click shares have generally changed only modestly."This pattern suggests that non-EU candidates are becoming increasingly available to meet the skills requirements of employers in sectors like tech, engineering and finance. But this trend is not taking place in sectors that typically see lower levels of foreign interest, including social care and construction, reinforcing concerns that some jobs in these areas may be hard to fill."One factor that contributed to the rise in the non-EU click share was a spike in job searches from Hong Kong after the UK government offered citizenship to around three million Hong Kongers in July."In a separate survey by Indeed, which involved more than 14,000 employees and 3,500 employers across 14 countries, job security emerged as the top priority for workers at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc with most economies.The survey measured the experiences and attitudes of people across areas such as job security, motivation, teamwork, pandemic support and work/life balance. The survey found that for 71 per cent of workers across the globe regarded a secure, stable form of employment as one of their top priorities for 2021, with 56 per cent ready to sacrifice perks to achieve it.

Read more news and views from David Sapsted.

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