The UK economy is the sixth largest economy in the world. The tertiary sector is the most developed, contributing 80% of GDP, with the lion’s share going to the financial sector. London is the second largest financial center in the world after New York and ahead of Hong Kong. Although the country is slowly recovering from the pandemic, the global geopolitical situation with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine will unfortunately slow down GDP growth, which is expected to be only 3% by 2022 compared to previous estimates of 5%. Unfortunately, after Brexit, everyone, regardless of nationality, must now have a visa to find work in the United Kingdom.
How to find jobs in the UK
Unlike in the past, now, after Brexit, anyone who wants to work in the United Kingdom must obtain a work visa based on a points-based system (PBS). This system favours professional skills and talent over origin, putting EU citizens on an equal footing with non-EU citizens. So the chances of finding a job do not depend on your nationality, but only on your skills.
To get the visa, you need to score 70 points.
The visa can be applied for online via the App UK Immigration or directly at a Visa Application Centre.
So to find a job in the UK, you have three options:
- Find a company in the UK that is willing to sponsor you. In this case, you must be patient and send your CV to all the companies
- Use an agency that can help you find a sponsor in the UK for a fee; there are many of them, and many specialize in finding personnel in specific regions of the world
- Travel directly to the UK as a tourist (with or without a visa, depending on the country) and look for work directly there
In any case, finding a company to sponsor you is not easy. You must be able to demonstrate that you have skills that no one else in the UK has. A company would always prefer to have a face-to-face interview with people who are already in the UK than to have a Skype conversation with someone who may live a few thousand miles away.
Most in-demand jobs in the UK
You will have a much easier time getting hired if your occupation is on one of the lists of jobs available in the United Kingdom. This list also includes many occupations that do not require a university degree: welders, technicians, unskilled labourers, etc. The list is updated periodically, which means that a job that is missing today may be available tomorrow, or a job that was available yesterday may not be available today, as in the case of cooks, an occupation that was in short supply and was removed when the list was last revised in February 2022
Work culture in the United Kingdom
Working hours in the United kingdom are spread over 5 days a week, but to improve work-life balance, some companies are experimenting with a 4-day week without reducing salary, as mentioned earlier. At work, people are generally honest and tend to trust their colleagues, believing what they say unchecked. So be careful when you make a statement because it is assumed that you can stand by what you say.
Although people do their work with care, the atmosphere is quite relaxed and pleasant, even if the always quite formal dress suggests otherwise.
When it comes to appointments, it is always good to be on time, but unlike the Germans, for whom a minute’s delay is a mortal sin, the British usually tolerate delays of a few minutes.
Finding jobs in the UK, conclusion
Your chances of finding a job depend on your job skills: the higher your skills are, the easier it will be to find a job. The lower your qualifications, the greater the competition and consequently the lower your chances of finding a job in the UK. But even if you find a low-skilled job, for example in London, the city where most foreigners work, given the high cost of living, it is not certain that the salary obtained will allow you to live in dignity.
To increase your chances of success, let me give you these tips:
- Take a close look at your resume and tailor it to the company you are applying to, down to the smallest detail
- Write a good cover letter explaining why you want to apply for this job.
- Get 2/3 letters of reference from previous employers, university professors, etc.
For all the information on how to work in the UK, I recommend you to read the article: How to work in the UK after Brexit