Foreign interest in Britain’s jobs has doubled since the new immigration policy

28 Aug 2023

Following the UK government’s launch of its post-Brexit immigration system in January 2021, foreign interest in Britain’s jobs has more than doubled. This is according to fresh research from the global hiring platform Indeed. The proportion of job searches in the UK carried out by foreigners increased by 146% from a low of 2.2% in April 2021 to 5.5% in June this year. In addition, foreign searches are also well above the 2017-2019 average of 3.5%.

EU falling behind

The EU is trailing the UK’s figures, according to these findings. Only 1.5% of all clicks on EU jobs came from people outside the European Union in April 2021. However, although this has almost doubled since then to 2.8% as of June, representing an 82% rise, it is still a far cry from the gains in non-EU nations such as the UK, US, Canada and Australia. Nearly a year since the introduction of the EU Talent Pool initiative, aimed at attracting skilled workers to the EU, Europe remains under pressure to become a top destination for jobseekers looking for overseas opportunities. In addition, Britain seems to be more of a longer-term magnet for foreign job seekers compared to the European Union, with the share of searches from abroad steadily higher since 2017.

Global leaders attracting foreign workers

As per the Indeed research, the UK is not at the top of the global list in regard to attracting foreign workers. Countries including Luxembourg, Oman and Switzerland typically attracted the highest number of jobseekers from overseas. All three nations had shares of foreign job searches between 40% and 75% as of June. Moreover, the greatest interest in terms of sector for foreign jobseekers in the UK was for personal care and home health, with 9.3% of clicks in the first six months of this year, compared to 7.3% in 2019. The most frequent foreign jobseeker interest stemmed from people in Nigeria, India and South Africa. Pawel Adrjan, Director of EMEA research at Indeed, said of the findings: “Immigration to developed countries has rebounded significantly in recent years, fuelled in large part by tight labour markets and long-term demographic trends including ageing populations and shrinking local workforces. In fact, ONS data shows that net migration to the UK was 606,000 in 2022, the highest number on record. In contrast, Indeed’s data shows that the EU is struggling to establish itself as a top destination for foreign job seekers, despite the rebound from pandemic lows.”