United Kingdom’s engineering and medical sector is suffering from a significant skills shortage, and it is only getting worse because of tier 2 visa system’s monthly and yearly caps. According to a research conducted in January 2018, the United Kingdom has a domestic labor shortage of 20,000 engineering professionals, which can only be filled up by foreign-born highly skilled workers. After Great Britain exited from European Union, the country saw a decrease in EU workers, one of the reasons why there’s an increase in tier 2 visa applications.
Engineering UK reported that the country will see a shortage of more than 180,000 engineering professionals by 2020. It is a growing cause of concern among migrants in the United Kingdom as they are choosing to find employment in some other country. Every year the British government publishes the United Kingdom Shortage Occupation List that contains occupations that are short staffed. While the list contains hundreds of occupations, 53 of them are engineering occupations. Some of the top short staffed engineering jobs are an automotive engineer, a chemical engineer, control and instruct engineer, geotechnical, integrated circuit test, mechanical, power system, and product design engineer.
How does the tier 2 visa work?
Before hiring a non-European Union skilled worker, the British employer needs to advertise the job opening for a minimum of 28 days in European Economic Area and the United Kingdom. The tier 2 visa lasts for up to three years, and if the skilled migrant worker applies for a job from the Shortage Occupation List, you get a discount on the application fee. If the person continues to work at the same firm, he will get the visa extended by two years.
If EU workers want to work in the UK, they need to obtain the EEA Residence Card that allows them to switch employers while working in the United Kingdom.