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Jobs in UK

Jobs in UK for International Students – Jobs, Visa, Career & Future Prospects

by Anup chowdhury
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Before delving deep into the subject of ‘Jobs in the United Kingdom’, let’s look at a few interesting facts – 

  • According to the ‘Office for National Statistics’, the UK’s employment rate between November 2019 and January 2020 hit a record high of 76.5%. 
  • During the same three months, the annual growth in average weekly earning of employees in Great Britain was 3.1%. 
  • As per the UK Government, in 2018, the difference in employment rates between the White people and other ethnic groups came down from 16 percentage points to 12 percentage points. 
  • The highest employment rate was found in the Indian ethnic group, at 76%. 
  • Over the last 3 years, the number of Indian students coming to the UK is constantly rising and in 2018, there was a massive increase of 42%. 96% of Indian students who apply for a UK visa are successful and this means the vast majority of Indian students wishing to come to the UK will be able to enjoy great career opportunities.

If the above points regarding the UK’s job market are attractive enough for you, let us delve more into this topic by finding out the kind of jobs you can apply for in the UK, new immigration rules and visa types. 

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Jobs in UK – Changes in Immigration Rules

According to the figures released by the UK’s Home Office, the number of student visas granted to Indians almost doubled in 2019 (compared to 2018). This was the largest increase in the issuance of student visas since 2011. The data also showed an increase in the number of visas issued to professionals from India. This is indicative of a demand for Indian experts in the UK and attempts to counter the drop in the number of Indian students in the country, ever since the 2-year post-study work visa was scrapped in 2012. The renewal of this visa in 2020 has allowed students to work, or look for work, in any field or position of their interest, for up to two years after their studies.

While the Indian professionals are already much preferred by the British employers, post Brexit, the new points-based immigration system will, in all probability, prove even more beneficial. This is because the free movement enjoyed by the EU citizens has now been curtailed, bringing more opportunities to talent globally. The new system, which has a lower annual salary threshold of £ 25,600 will facilitate more Indians to find job opportunities in the UK. 

Finished your graduation and looking for an MS abroad? Read – Interested to study Masters in UK

According to this new rules –  

  • Students who have valid UK immigration status and have successfully completed a course of study in any subject at undergraduate level or above at an approved UK Higher Education Provider will be eligible to apply for a 2-year work visa under the new regime. 
  • International students can apply for jobs in the UK if they have the Tier 1, 2 or 5 visa  (conditions apply). 
  • Even if PhD holders are earning a lesser salary than the threshold set by the UK government in the newly proposed regime, some concessions have been introduced. These concessions will enable such students to apply for immigration under the new rules that will be applied from January 2021. The development of this new fast-track visa route for scientists and the removal of the limitations on PhD students moving into the skilled work visa route, collectively aims to cement the UK as a science superpower and a world-leader in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sector.
  • Based on the guidance by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the new points-based system demands a minimum of 70 points to be eligible to work and live in the UK. 
  • This points-based system accomplishes to provide a simple, yet effective order of an employer-led system through which the skilled-workers can come and work in the UK. 
  • As per the new system, citizens from both EU AND non-EU nations would be required to demonstrate: 
    • that they have a job offer  from an approved sponsor
    • that the job offer is at the required skill level
    • that they speak English (minimum B1 level)

Jobs in UK – Job Market

The UK has the third largest economy in Europe and based on the Office for National Statistics, there are 3.5 million non-UK nationals working in the country. More and more foreigners are getting jobs in the UK compared to EU nationals. In fact, there were 74,000 more non-EU nationals compared to EU nationals in 2019. 

London is one of the most popular city in UK for education, research and high paid jobs. Read – Study in London here.

Let’s look at a few features related to the job market in the UK – 

  • Talking about the different areas in the UK, economic growth is concentrated in the South East of the country and London whereas unemployment is higher in the North of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There are 10% more jobs in London than in rest of the places in the UK and this definitely makes the capital city competitive.
  • Scientists, Engineers, IT Professionals, Medical Practitioners, Science Teachers, Chefs, Musicians, Environmentalists, and Dance Choreographers find it easier to get a job in the UK as these occupations have a short supply within the nation. Hospitality and Retail sectors are found to have  vacancies often.

Jobs in UK – Basic requirements to work in the UK

  • Knowledge of a second language other than English is valued in UK’s job market. But you definitely need to be proficient in the English language which is essential to apply for a visa, obtaining a job and working in the UK. You might have to prove your English proficiency by giving the IELTS exams. 
  • One can find out how qualified they are, based on their qualifications from their home country, equivalent to the UK, by visiting the UK NARIC website. 
  • UK work visa eligibility is dependent on having a job offer and in most cases sponsorship. If you are coming to work in the UK as a non-EU/EFTA national, you will first need to find a suitable job. 
  • UK work visas are not currently issued for low-skilled work, so you will need to find employment that fits one of the specialist or highly qualified UK work visa categories. 
  • Once you have found a job, you can apply for a job visa. One can apply online through the UK Visas and Immigration website or via the UK Visa Application Centre in your home country.

Study Abroad

Jobs in UK – UK Work Visa Types

UK visa is based on a point system and the points are awarded based on the qualifications, future expected earnings, sponsorship, English language skills and self approved funds. If you are on a student visa, you can work while studying (if you study at a university that is listed on both the official UKVI Sponsor list and the list of ‘recognised bodies’.) Students can work part-time during the term of their programme for up to 20 hours a week and full-time during the holidays. Check out the recent sponsor list published by the UK government, click here. 

TYPES OF UK VISAS AVAILABLE

Visa Types

Details

Tier 1

The visa can be obtained by those who are recognised as leaders in science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology and the arts. This should be endorsed by the UK Home Office and only 1,000 of these visas are issued per year.

Tier 2

People who have been offered a skilled job (annual salary at least GBP 25,000) and have been sponsored by a licensed organisation related to their employment. This visa is valid up to 6 years.

Tier 5

People engaged in temporary work as a charity volunteer, sports person or creative worker, religious worker etc., provided sponsorship has been secured. The temporary work visa is valid for 1-2 years depending on the purpose.

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa

Specific for Nationals (non-Indian) from certain countries. Check out www.gov.uk website for more details.

Tier 4 Student Visa 

If you are completing a PhD at a UK higher education institute, you can apply to stay in the UK for a further 12 months after your completion date. University sponsors you and you will have full unrestricted work rights. 

Some other job visas available for individuals who want to start their own business or graduates who are looking to start a venture are: 

  1. Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa – One who wants to set up or run a business in the UK and have at least GBP 50,000 of investment funds. The visa is valid for 3 years.
  2. Graduate Entrepreneur Visa – Students who have graduated from the UK and have business ideas endorsed by either the UK Department for International Trade or a qualifying UK higher education institution. The visa is valid for 1 year.
  3. Investor Visa – People who are willing to invest at least GBP 2 million in the UK. The visa is valid for 3 years and can be extended further.

Jobs in UK – Top Companies & Average Salaries

Between 2017-2018, the largest increase in employee estimates by industry in the UK has been in the professional, scientific and technical industry (up by 82,100 employees, or 3.3%), followed by the wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (up by 52,000 employees, or 1.1%). The largest decrease in employee estimates by industry has been in the information and communication industry (down by 21,200 employees, or 1.6%).


In 2019, the following companies were popular for hiring graduates with excellent salary packages in the UK – 

  • PwC
  • Civil Service Fast Stream
  • Aldi
  • Teach First
  • Google
  • Deloitte
  • NHS
  • KPMG
  • EY
  • GSK
  • BBC
  • Unilever
  • Lidl
  • JP Morgan
  • Rolls Royce
  • Accenture
  • HSBC
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Barclays
  • Jaguar Land Rover

10 TOP EMPLOYERS IN UK FOR GRADUATES 

Company Name

Industry-type

Average Compensation per employee

Goldman Sachs

Investment Banking 

GBP 52,000

Latham Watkins

Law 

GBP 45,000

Rothschilds

Finance 

GBP 65,000

Aldi 

Retail 

GBP 41,000

European Commission

Policy and Government 

GBP 41,500

RBS

Investment Banking 

GBP 54,000

Citibank

Investment Banking 

GBP 45,000

JP Morgan 

Investment Banking 

GBP 58,000

RBS Capital Markets

IB 

GBP 50,000

Barclays

IB 

GBP 50,000

Jobs in UK – FAQs

Q. How can an international student get a job offer in the UK?

A. First, you need to switch your visa status from Tier 4 student visa to work visa (Tier 1, 2, or 5) and then apply for jobs. Once you get selected for a job, go through the visa process to finally travel to the UK.

Q. How much can a graduate earn in the UK?

A. Based on ISE, the average starting salary in the UK is GBP 29,000.

Q. Is it easy to get PR (permanent residence) in the UK?

A. Based on the new points-based immigration system, STEM students from India and China will get better chances of getting faster PR in the UK. This shall be applied from Jan 2021.

Q. What are the top companies that hire international students in the UK?

A. The following countries (and many others) hire international graduates in the UK and pay great salaries- 

  • Amazon
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • JP Morgan
  • Facebook
  • Intel
  • PWC
  • Apple

Q. How to search for jobs in UK?

A.  You can find jobs in the following top recruiting websites:

  • Jobs.ac.uk
  • Jobsite.co.uk
  • reed.co.uk
  • totaljobs.com
  • Indeed.co.uk

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