On the 18th February, the UK government unveiled details of its new immigration system, which will come into force on the 1st January 2021. In line with the government’s manifesto, migrants will have to meet a number of criteria, including specific skills and a good command of English language in order to qualify for a visa. In addition, candidates will be required to hold a job offer of a £25,600 minimum salary threshold which, according to Zoek, is significantly higher than what businesses were expecting.
According to this new approach, the UK will remain open to highly skilled international employees worldwide, however, the door to low skilled workers will be closed.
Miss Patel said: “Today is a historic moment for the whole country. We’re ending free movement, taking back control of our borders and delivering on the people’s priorities by introducing a new UK points-based immigration system, which will bring overall migration numbers down. We will attract the brightest and the best from around the globe, boosting the economy and our communities, and unleash this country’s full potential.”
In light of this new points-based system for immigration, several industry representatives, business groups and bodies representing farming, catering and nursing have already expressed their concern, warning that recruiting staff will now become harder than ever, affecting the skills shortage quandary. Furthermore, organisations including transport and warehousing, food processing and tourism cautioned that the new rules would have a drastic impact on businesses and trade.
Following a recent survey from a sample of hiring organisations using Zoek, 55% voiced complaints against slamming the door on low-skilled workers by locking them out of sectors like catering, construction, healthcare and hospitality. Whereas 35% were unsure or indifferent about the upcoming laws, and just 10% expressed positive remarks. The sample of recruitment agencies using Zoek have expressed their opinions, with 60% highlighting it will affect their business negatively, and that the proposals offer almost no route for low-skilled migrants.
Concerns have also been expressed by hospitality hirers and employers. Hospitality Recruitment specialists, advertising roles on Zoek, support: “This will definitely have an effect in the hospitality and catering industry as at the moment a vast percentage of the workforce are international workers. In specific, recruiting for Chef roles will become even more of a challenge due to the new points-based system. A Chef would need to reach a minimum of 70 points, which is not going to be easily achievable.”
Healthcare recruitment specialists add: “Even with the international workers currently employed in healthcare, there is still not enough workforce to cover the demand in low skill and entry-level roles. Hence this will certainly make our job more challenging in meeting our clients’ needs.”
In an already competitive hiring market, the candidate sourcing experience is rapidly changing. The war for talent is nothing new but the war for candidate retention has only just started heating up. With these shifts and challenges that British companies are now called to face, Zoek as a UK job board business, commits to offering the skills, knowledge and an affordable solution to support employers’ staff sourcing needs.
Managing Director of Zoek, Diana Campbell, commented: “Fully perceiving the need for low-skilled workers, it is acknowledged that they are as vital by any economy as high-skill people are. Remaining close to SME’s, LSE’s, charities and recruitment agencies nationwide, Zoek will keep investing in creating opportunities on a vast scale. We aim to offer a premium, yet affordable candidate recruitment solution based on a cutting-edge AI technology and a newly introduced pay-per-application service model.”