In-Demand Degrees & Landing Top UK Jobs
“Non-EEA international students often find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to applying for British graduate jobs”
As Brexit negotiations continue, many international students are feeling concerned about their place in the UK post-graduation, particularly those looking to work in graduate roles. Luna Williams, content writer and correspondent at Immigration Advice Service offers advice to relieve some of this concern.
As it stands, any non-EEA international graduate can take on permanent, skilled work in the UK provided they have received a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from their prospective employer. Once they have this, they will be eligible for a Tier 2 Work Visa, which will allow them to take on their desired role and remain in the UK for a further five years to fill it. For those looking to settle in the UK permanently, this route is ideal.
However, before international graduates can receive either a Tier 2 job offer or a CoS, they are usually required to wait for a minimum of 28 days, while their desired job role is advertised to British and European nationals. This process is called the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) and is very strict, with employers who do not wait for this allotted period being severely penalised.
As a result, non-EEA international students often find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to applying for British graduate jobs.
“An ‘in-demand’ degree refers to a degree which qualifies the student to take on a role which is officially ‘in-shortage’ in the UK”
Being placed on a lower priority to other students, their desired graduate jobs are either completely taken before they get a chance to apply, or are highly-competitive once they do.
Fortunately for these students, there are certain circumstances which allow this rule to be bent – and this applies when an international student is graduating with an ‘in-demand’ degree.
An ‘in-demand’ degree refers to a degree which qualifies the student to take on a role which is officially ‘in-shortage’ in the UK. If a role is in shortage, this means that the UK government has ruled that there is not enough residential talent to fill it.
“Making up around 50 per cent of the roles on the list, engineering professionals are by far the most sought after when it comes to international talent”
A full list of these roles is published annually on a government resource called the UK Shortage Occupation List. Roles currently included in the list range from chemical engineers to paediatrics to ballet dancers.
Crucially, anyone eligible to take on a role on this list is able to automatically bypass the RLMT’s 28-day waiting period and is therefore given a level playing field when applying for their Tier 2 role.
In-demand graduate roles
Making up around 50 per cent of the roles on the list, engineering professionals are by far the most sought after when it comes to international talent. Under categories such as Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic, Process, Design and Production Engineering, there are many roles included which a degree under any of these faculties may qualify you to take on.
Also popular on the list are roles involved in the Healthcare and Medicine industries. These include roles in Psychiatry and Radiography, as well as General Practice.
As well as these main areas, there are a number of roles included in the list in areas such as Physical Science, IT, Education, Social Care, Art and Music.
With this in mind, any international students who are studying degrees in schools such as Medicine, Engineering and the Arts, may have a highly increased chance of securing a job in the UK once they have graduated and are advised to bear this in mind when considering their future plans and prospects.