Businesses call for relaxing of foreign hire rules
Appeals are being made by businesses in the capital to ease the burdensome processes associated with hiring non-EEA talent, in a bid to fill the UK’s growing skills gap.
Research carried out by the London Chambers of Commerce found that more than half (54 per cent) of the companies polled had experienced difficulties in the last three months when trying to recruit. This figure had increased by two per cent on last year, according to hrgrapevine.com.
The current rules around hiring from non-EEA countries are vast and confusing. They are additionally time-consuming and require proof that no suitably skilled UK resident could be found. Employers also need to remember that they need to carry out a very different set of pre-employment vetting checks, as well as obtaining or confirming an individual’s right to work in the UK. It can be arduous for in-house recruiters to get references for overseas businesses, causing many to outsource this task to third party vetting agents.
The survey revealed that technical and skilled manual workers were among the hardest to recruit – this coupled with a pressure to increase wages has prompted the call for relaxing overseas hiring rules.
Speaking about the situation via cityam.com, Peter Bishop, deputy chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “For the second successive quarter, businesses have told us that they are facing significant issues recruiting staff with the right skills. This means that, increasingly, businesses need to look outside of the domestic labour market for the staff they need.
“Making it easier for businesses to recruit from overseas is critical, we must see a reduction in the red tape associated with recruiting non-EEA workers and exempt foreign students from the net migration target, restoring their right to work in the UK after graduating.”