The country’s new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, is set to increase the reception of skilled immigrants to boost economic growth and make up for the country’s massive labor shortage.
In the coming weeks, she plans to raise the maximum intake of immigrants from seasonal agricultural workers and make changes to the list of professions in severe shortage, which will allow key sectors to hire more employees abroad. According to the British newspaper “The Times”.
Truss’s plan was a big surprise, especially as she had earlier threatened to send the country’s illegal immigrants to Rwanda, which was then rejected by the European Court of Human Rights.
She is currently pushing for a large-scale reform of Britain’s visa system to address the acute labor shortage and attract top talent around the world. She suggested easing English language requirements in some sectors to enable more foreign workers to qualify for visas.
Besides opening visa routes for specific sectors, ministers are discussing allowing entry to more highly educated workers around the world. This includes new visa proposals for workers who have graduated from one of the top 50 or top 100 global universities.
“The country needs to put in place measures so that we have the right economy skills, including the rural economy to stimulate growth, and that will incorporate increasing numbers in some areas and decreasing them in others.” According to the government source.
A record number of vacancies were announced last month. The social welfare sector is trying to fill 105,000 vacancies. There is also a shortage of nursing, and the Ministry of Agriculture has called for an additional 30,000 visas to be issued for seasonal workers, the newspaper confirmed.
British authorities granted 994,951 visas in the past 12 months until March 2022, a significant increase from pre-Brexit levels.
Two million vacancies
As the Christmas holiday season gears up, UK employment is on the rise.
2.08 million new jobs were announced during the ending August 28, the highest rate in 2022, and the second highest rate ever. According to the Federation of Employment and Labor in Britain.
These data indicate that the problem of labor shortages that have plagued the British economy since the suspension of unpaid leave last year continues to be a crisis for businesses.
“The lack of labor and expertise across Britain means that the process of filling jobs takes longer. All professions in Britain have seen a marked increase in the number of vacancies, except for the acting fields and entertainment.” According to the report of the Union of Employment and Labor.
“Vacancies recorded an increase in late August as returned from holidays and prepared for peak activity in the Christmas season in manufacturing and logistics fields. This abundance in advertising reflects the challenges companies are facing, and that labor shortages are disrupting the ability of many companies to hire and grow.” Neil Carberry, CEO of the Employment and Labor Union
Unemployment is at its lowest level in half a century
The announcement of Britain’s intention to bring in more skilled immigrants comes as the country’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in nearly half a century, after falling over the summer, but high inflation continues to weigh on wages.
The unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent in the three months to the end of July, the lowest level since 1974. According to the British National Bureau of Statistics
Although many workers have received wage increases to help overcome inflation that has reached a 40-year high above 10 %, wages in real terms have fallen 2.8% from previous year. UK employment increased by nearly 40,000 in the May-July period.
The economic inactivity rate, which measures the proportion of the population neither working nor looking for work, rose 0.4 percentage point in the first quarter to 21.7%.
The Bank of England is concerned about increased inactivity in the labor market as this could help fuel inflation pressures due to a shortage of candidates to fill jobs. In addition, Britain is suffering from a crisis of high cost of living, due to the high rate of inflation due to the sharp increase in energy prices due to the Russian war in Ukraine.