Good news for South Africans interested in emigrating to the UK

With the United Kingdom seemingly heading towards a ‘Hard Brexit’ in June, the British government is assessing what impact this will have on its economy.

A ‘Hard Brexit’ would see the UK leave not only the European Union (EU), but also the EU’s Single Market (of which non-EU countries are also members) and the EU Customs Union (of which non-EU countries are also members).

One of the biggest concerns is the outflow of workers .However, figures published in mid-May showed that the unemployment rate in the first three months of the year had fallen to 3.8%, the lowest rate since 1974.

Analysts however, warned that the jobs figures are backward looking – relating to the three-month period to January, and “only touching on the start of the worsening crisis over Brexit,” The Guardian reported.

And Ryan Rennison, MD of visa and travel solutions for the UK, Move Up, noted that total earnings climbed 3.5%, including bonuses, in spite of expectations of a depressed labour market in the lead up to the UK’s departure from the EU.

“While the latest job market conditions in the UK could mean a slightly longer wait to find the right job, ongoing Brexit negotiations have led to an increase in the number of South Africans working in the UK.

“Higher salaries will only make moving to the UK an even more attractive option for eligible South Africans to consider,” he said.

Recommended jobs list

To combat a so-called ‘Brexodus’ – the departure of talented professionals or companies leaving the UK due to Brexit – the UK’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has updated its recommended shortage occupation list (SOL) – adding new occupations to the list and expanding current jobs to include all roles within that occupation.

The new list would include nearly 10% of jobs in the UK labour market, compared with 1% under the current list.

The SOL includes roles where there are not enough resident workers to fill vacancies and includes all posts related to programming and software development, as well as web designers as a new addition.

“Today’s labour market is very different to the one we reviewed when the last SOL was published in 2013,” said MAC chair professor Alan Manning.

“Unemployment is lower and employers in various industries are facing difficulties in finding skilled people to fill their vacancies.”

The BBC reported that if a job title is included in the SOL it means there is:

  • No requirement to advertise the job to UK workers;
  • No requirement to meet £35,800 salary threshold for settlement after five years;
  • Lower visa application fees for workers and their families;
  • If the skilled labour cap of 20,700 is reached then occupations on the SOL are given priority.

The jobs on the SOL are also effectively allowed to jump the queue for workers from outside the European Economic Area.

Some of the most notable jobs on the revised recommended SOL list include:

  • Civil engineers;
  • Mechanical engineers;
  • IT business analysts, architects and systems designers;
  • Medical practitioners;
  • Nurses;
  • Teachers;
  • Graphic designers;
  • Web design and development professionals;
  • Programmers and software development professionals;
  • Dancers and choreographers;
  • Chefs.

Read: Good news for South Africans interested in emigrating to Australia

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Good news for South Africans interested in emigrating to the UK