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What Is The Skilled Worker Visa & How To Hire From Abroad

Rhino Trade Insurance 09 March 2024

If you're running a tight ship and looking to expand your team with top-notch talent, you might have heard whispers about the Skilled Worker Visa. Well, let us tell you, it's not just another bureaucratic hurdle; it's your ticket to tapping into a global pool of skilled workers. In this blog post, the Rhino team will look into the ins and outs of the Skilled Worker Visa and how you can harness its power to grow your trade business team. Buckle up because we're about to embark on a journey to revolutionise how you hire tradespeople!

Understanding the Skilled Worker Visa

So, what's this Skilled Worker Visa all about? In a nutshell, it's a game-changer for trade businesses like yours, allowing you to bring in the best talent from around the world to contribute their skills and expertise to your team. Formerly known as the Tier 2 (General) visa, the Skilled Worker Visa is a part of the UK's Points-Based System, designed to attract skilled workers and tackle labour shortages in various sectors, including the trades and construction.

The Points-Based System

To get your head around the Skilled Worker Visa, you must understand the Points-Based System (PBS). It's like a scoring system where applicants accumulate points based on certain criteria. The higher the points, the better the chances of getting the visa. The key elements include:

  • Job Offer: The heart of the matter is a job offer from a UK employer. For tradesmen and women, this is your chance to showcase the exciting opportunities your business brings to the table.
  • Skill Level: The job you're offering needs to be at a certain skill level, usually RQF level 3 or above (A levels or higher). Don't worry; most trade positions easily meet this requirement.
  • English Language Skills: Communication is key, right? Applicants must prove their English proficiency, but most skilled workers have this in the bag.
  • Salary: The salary you're offering plays a role in the point system. The higher, the better, but there's a minimum threshold you need to meet (£26,200 a year).
  • Maintenance Funds: Workers must show they have enough money to support themselves initially. However, that won't be a problem once they're on your team!

How to Get the Ball Rolling

Now that you have a grasp of the basics, let's discuss the nitty-gritty of starting the Skilled Worker Visa process.

Job Advertising: 

Before you can attract talent from abroad, you'll need to advertise the position to prove there are no suitable candidates in the UK. The UK government has specific guidelines on how and where to advertise, so make sure you follow them.

Certificate of Sponsorship: 

This isn't as complicated as it sounds. It's a virtual document issued by you, the employer, to your prospective employee. Think of it as your way of vouching for their skills and expertise. Getting a Certificate of Sponsorship involves an application process, but with the right documentation and adherence to guidelines, you'll be issuing them in no time.

Worker's Application: 

Once armed with a Certificate of Sponsorship, your prospective employee can submit their visa application. This involves gathering necessary documents, filling out forms, and paying fees. The process might seem daunting, but resources and support services are available to guide you and your future team members through the journey.

Four Perks of Hiring Around The World

Now that you have the roadmap to the Skilled Worker Visa let's talk about why it's worth the effort.

  1. Access to Global Talent Pool: Imagine having a team that brings diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives to the table. It's not just about filling a position; it's about enriching your workplace with a plethora of abilities.
  2. Addressing Skills Gaps: If you've struggled to find the right skills locally, the Skilled Worker Visa may be your answer. It's like having a magic wand that allows you to effortlessly bridge the skills gap in your trade business.
  3. Boosting Innovation: Different backgrounds bring different ideas. Hiring internationally sparks innovation and creativity within your team. You never know - your next process or solution might come from halfway around the globe!
  4. Cultural Exchange: Beyond business, hiring globally offers a cultural exchange right within your workplace. It's a learning experience for everyone involved, fostering a rich, dynamic environment that goes beyond just doing your work.

Navigating Challenges

While the Skilled Worker Visa is a cracking tool, it's vital to be aware of potential challenges and how to overcome them.

Navigating the Immigration System: The UK immigration process can seem like a maze. Stay informed and seek expert advice if needed. Immigration consultants can be your guiding light, helping you and your potential hires navigate the bureaucratic twists and turns.

Costs and Time: Like any good investment, hiring globally comes with costs and time commitments. There are application fees, health surcharges, and potential legal fees. Be prepared for these, and consider them an investment in the growth and success of your trade business.

Understanding Local Regulations: Each country has its own rules and regulations. It's crucial to understand not just the UK's immigration laws but also how they interact with the laws of your potential hire's home country. Consulting with legal experts can save you headaches down the road.

Building a Global Team

Now that you know about the Skilled Worker Visa, let's talk about the big picture - building a team that thrives. Here are some tips to ensure success:

Effective Communication: With a diverse team comes diverse communication styles. Emphasise effective communication from day one. Encourage an open dialogue where team members feel comfortable expressing themselves.

Cultural Sensitivity: Embrace and celebrate the differences in your team's cultural backgrounds. This allows for an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued. Consider organising team get-togethers to strengthen the bond and brother/sisterhood.

Training and Development: Investing in your team's development pays off in the long run. Provide training programs that help them adapt to the local working culture and keep them updated on industry trends.

Clear Expectations: Clearly define roles, responsibilities, and expectations from the get-go. This helps in avoiding misunderstandings and ensures everyone is on the same page.

Let Rhino Trade Insurance Cover Your Trade Business

There you have it - a comprehensive guide to the Skilled Worker Visa and how it can transform the way you hire. Perhaps it's time to unlock new workers for your business, and the Skilled Worker Visa might be just the ticket!

As always, let's not forget about having the right trade insurance in place whilst working on-site. Rhino can accommodate various business sizes and design tailored cover for whatever your discipline. From public liability, tool cover, employers' liability insurance and much more. We are your one-stop shop for trade protection! Call today - 0116 243 7904. 


About The Author Phil McCormick

Experienced in brand marketing and content. Most of that lovely communication you see online will be from Phil. social media, emails, videos, how to make a bacon sarny? You get the gist!

Trade most identified with: Electrician - It’s our Phil’s job to map out all our communications and make sure the signal works! Also, he’s one of the cockiest blighters in the team so electrician fits perfectly!

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