One year ago today, the Government launched the points-based immigration system and opened the Skilled Worker Visa. The points-based immigration system is working with other Government initiatives such as the Plan for Jobs and the Lifetime Skills Guarantee which are designed to help more people secure a great job and also ensure businesses have access to the workforce they need now and in the future.
Unemployment has fallen and the number of employees on payrolls is back above pre-pandemic levels. Over 100,000 young people are also now at work.
In spring 2022, more visa routes will open, including the Scale-Up, High Potential Individual and Global Business Mobility routes. These will provide more opportunities for businesses to recruit leading people in their fields and encourage innovators and entrepreneurs to open enterprises in the UK – supporting British jobs, contributing to the economy and improving the UK’s standing on the world stage.
The Skilled Worker route, which accounts for 61% of work-related visas granted, saw the largest increase in visa numbers, up 45,866 or 57% to 126,017 and the Global Talent route increased from 595 to 2,786 visas issued by the end of September 2021. In comparison, 110,721 Skilled Worker visas were granted by the end of September 2019 and 80,151 granted by the end of September 2020 – highlighting the impact of the pandemic on migration, while the end of free movement a year ago allows the UK to count all skilled workers coming to the country.
This has meant that over the last year, the UK has welcomed thousands of workers with the skills the country needs including IT workers, scientists, plumbers, architects, butchers, doctors, creative workers and bricklayers. As well as helping to support public services, boost growth and drive international competitiveness of the UK’s most innovative companies, these skilled workers are complementing the UK workforce – helping to boost wages and opportunities.
The number of visas issued across work and study routes has recovered to pre-pandemic levels – demonstrating that the UK continues to attract worldwide talent and skills to support the post-pandemic economic recovery.