UK Eases Visa Regulations to Attract Overseas Construction Workers

UK Eases Visa Regulations to Attract Overseas Construction Workers

Individuals working as masons, carpenters, and other occupations listed as experiencing shortages can be eligible for a visa if they have a valid job offer and fulfill the English language proficiency criteria.

The UK has included several construction positions in its "shortage occupation list," simplifying the process for the building industry to recruit foreign workers and address workforce shortages.

Bricklayers, masons, roofers, roof tilers, slaters, carpenters, joiners, and plasterers will now have access to more affordable visas and relaxed employment requirements as part of these adjustments.

The UK is facing severe labor shortages in specific sectors, leading employers to seek workers from overseas. However, this poses a political challenge for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party, as they have been striving to reduce net migration over the past decade.

To address the issue, the interior ministry has announced the addition of new roles to the "shortage occupation list." This move is aimed at supporting the development of vital national infrastructure and promoting growth in related industries. The independent Migration Advisory Committee had previously recommended adding construction jobs to the list, which already includes care workers, civil engineers, laboratory technicians, and healthcare roles.

Last year, net migration to the UK reached a record high of 606,000, prompting renewed commitments from Sunak to reduce incoming arrivals. Critics of Brexit argue that the UK's departure from the European Union has exacerbated the labor shortages, as EU citizens can no longer work in Britain without visas as they previously could.

Workers in shortage occupations can now qualify for a visa while being paid 80 percent of the job's standard rate, provided they have a job offer from an employer and meet the English language requirement, according to the government statement.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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