Start typing and hit "Enter" to search.
immigration solicitors near me

The Top UK Industries in Need of Non-Eu Talent (Tier 2 Visa)

As the UK faces the reality of leaving the European Union (EU) at the end of January 2020, albeit with the protective net of a transitional arrangement, many will be keen to see how the government plan to ensure the flow of talent into the country once free movement ends. The existing UK Tier 2 Visa scheme will likely continue to be one of the main routes for workers to enter the country, whether under the general, intra-company transfer, minister of religion, or sportsperson visa category.

In this article, we will take a look at the top five industries which are most in need of non-EU talent.

STEM Sectors

One observation that is very apparent when reading the UK government's 'shortage occupation list' is a large number of roles in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). These roles include:

  • Biological scientists and biochemists
  • Physical Scientists
  • Civil engineers
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Electrical engineers
  • Design and development engineers
  • Programmers and software development professionals
  • Cybersecurity specialist
  • Secondary education teachers in the subjects of maths, physics
  • Actuaries, economists and statisticians - bio-informatician and informaticians

This should come as no surprise. STEM-related skills, which cover an extensive scope, are and will continue to remain essential to the UK economy, indeed the global economy. The UK's own assessment of this demand, in a report entitled, 'Reviewing the requirement for high-level STEM skills', prepared by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), states,

"To reshape its economy around high value, knowledge-intensive activities within an increasingly competitive global economy, the UK must meet the growing demand for people equipped with higher level, economically valuable skills. In particular, ensuring that businesses have access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills is critically important since these skills play a central role in developing innovative products and services that can be effectively positioned in world market...the UK's economic future lies in high value, innovative and knowledge-intensive activities. To pursue this course a highly skilled science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce is essential".

The UKCES report also defines a number of trends that are driving the need for STEM expertise, including converging technologies and cross-disciplinary skills, digitalisation of production, ICT development and the age of 'Big Data', the shift to Asia, growing scarcity of natural resources and degradation of ecosystems, changing work environments.

The specific sectors which will see the largest demand for STEM expertise will include:

  • Agricultural technology (Agri-tech)
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Financial
  • Energy and nuclear technology
  • Food
  • Manufacturing
  • Information technology
  • Medical technology

Hospitality sector

Anyone reading the shortage occupation list might be forgiven for thinking that the only demand for hospitality sector is for chefs. The list only includes executive, head, sous, and specialist chefs with an annual salary of at least £29,570. But what about the rest of the hospitality sector? The hotels and restaurants sector have the highest level of 'hard-to-fill' vacancies as a percentage of employment. Unfortunately, despite the apparent shortage of staff across the hospitality sector, many less-specialist hospitality roles, including cleaners, waiters, reception staff, bartenders, may not be able to consider the Tier 2 Visa route due to the minimum income requirement of £30,000, and for the employer to undertake a resident labour market test for the role.

Art and music sector

The shortage occupation list includes a range of roles within the field of the arts, including arts officers, producers and directors, musicians, and dancers, and choreographers. Unfortunately, not all talent in this sector is included. When it comes to music, the shortage list narrows the requirement to include only "orchestral musicians who are leaders, principals, sub-principals or numbered string positions, and who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK orchestras. The orchestra must be endorsed as being internationally recognised by the Association of British Orchestras". Likewise, dancers and choreographers must meet the standard required by an internationally recognised UK ballet or contemporary dance company. While it may be true that the inclusion of artistic talent on the shortage list is relatively restricted, the fact they are included at all should be welcomed. After all, this was not the case prior to Autumn 2019 when the shortage rules for artists were relaxed, and the requirement to earn £30,000 removed.

Medical and healthcare sector

Numbers for the current shortage of NHS staff vary, but highly respected believe that by 2030, there will be a shortfall of around one-quarter of a million healthcare personnel. The shortage occupation list currently includes paramedics, social workers, psychologists, medical radiographers, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, nurses, and medical practitioners. Unfortunately, the healthcare sector has been hit hard by austerity in the past decade, due mainly to cuts in public sector spending.

While it may be seen as an exaggeration to say that the NHS is facing an existential crisis, there is little doubt that Brexit is going to add considerably to the pressure being faced by the health system. According to the Kings Fund. "Brexit has created additional risks in both the short and medium-term. Already, a net inflow of nurses from the EU into the NHS has turned into a net outflow" (i.e. more EU nurses are leaving than are joining the NHS). Add to this other factors such as the aging population and rising demand for healthcare services, and it easy to see why the medical and healthcare sectors will need to recruit heavily from outside of the EU in the coming decade.

Final words

By detaching itself from the EU, the UK must now open itself up to the rest of the world more than ever before. Brexit will not mean an end to the immigration of talent into this country; on the contrary, it will force us to reconsider our economic model and the people needed to drive it. The current Tier 2 visa system may need to be overhauled, or at least radically changed to enable the vast array of workers needed, of all skill levels, to come to the UK. The system will need to be efficient, friendly, and easy to use from the perspective of the applicant and employers. One thing is for sure, if it is done well, the UK will continue to provide a future for workers from across the world who represent a diverse range of industries, sub-sectors, some of which may not even exist yet. Exciting times are ahead.

Get In Touch

Some of our Happy Client
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me

Reiss Edwards Awards


Reiss Edwards is absolutely amazing. As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that they know their stuff, gentle, responsive, care about you and not just about the money, very professional.

I mean I can go on and on! The entire team at Reiss Edwards is amazing!

Kiran Sardar

I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Reiss Edwards Reviews


"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

Read More

Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

Read More

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

Read More

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

Read More
Back to Top