The coronavirus pandemic and Brexit is still affecting the United Kingdom in significant ways both socially and economically. The British government is still trying to come up with solutions to the problems that COVID-19 and Brexit have created. The United Kingdom at the moment is suffering from significant shortages of workers that are able to work in incredibly important sectors of the workforce and due to this UK has decided to relax many of its stricter rules surrounding immigration. The British Government is looking outside of the UK for people that are experienced or skilled in areas such as agriculture and care that are able to move to there and work.
The British Government in late 2021 made the decision to allow many people from overseas that are able to work in agriculture to move there and work with fruit and vegetable growers. The UK has extended their agricultural visa scheme to continue over the next three years.
The Conservative house of commons chair Neil Parish is reported as saying that Brexit is having significant detrimental effects on the UK economy and its workforce. The Home Office has also stated that they intend to allow 30,000 overseas workers to work in agriculture in the UK during 2022 for six months with the possibility of 10,000 more being allowed if necessary. Before Brexit, those from the EU were able to easily work in other countries that were also members of the EU, now that that isn’t as easy the United Kingdom is suffering from the lack of workers in such crucial aspects of the economy. It has been said that some farms and farmers are potentially even offering up to £30 an hour to pick fruit and vegetables.
It must also be said that the UK was already having labour shortages before Brexit but now that they can’t benefit from the easy movement of workers that the EU provided the issue and its negative effects have been accelerated which has led to the government needing these workers to move over and work there.
It’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has hit the social care and health care sectors of the economy the hardest. It is reported that in the last six months of 2021 roughly 40,000 social care workers stopped working in social care, this has led to the Government needing to relax immigration rules.
Priti Patel the Home Secretary has talked extensively about how significant COVID-19 has been on the social care labour force. Those who are qualified to work in care jobs might be eligible for a UK Health and Care Visa that is a minimum of 12 months long. This is reported to come into effect in February of 2022. For employers to be eligible to offer these work visas they need to offer a minimum salary of £20,480 per annum. Those coming over to work should also be able to bring direct members of their family such as their partner and children.
Since the UK has relaxed these immigration laws if you live outside of the UK in countries such as India then you might be eligible to come live and work there.