Great Britain

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Jobs in the UK for Foreigners

Many expats dream of finding a job in the UK. Are you curious about which sectors have the most jobs for foreigners? Read our InterNations Guide on jobs in the UK for foreigners for information on this plus tips on how to find work and how to get your international qualifications recognized in the UK.
The UK publishes a list each year of jobs with openings for expats.
  • It is advisable take a look at the National Occupation Shortage List to find out which sectors are in demand before looking for a job.
  • There are different ways to look for a job in the UK: online databases, the UK’s online service Universal Jobmatch, and recruitment agencies are only a few examples.
  • In order to get a job in the UK, it is important to get your qualifications and skills officially recognized.

Are Your Skills in Demand in the UK?

If you are looking for jobs in the UK for foreigners, it is best to do your research first on which sectors have the most job openings. The top sectors for expats include computer programming, consultancy, healthcare, and the financial sector. As of November 2015, the main job openings include positions for software developers, social workers, nurses and paramedics, skilled chefs and many different types of engineers.

The UK government offers a National Shortage Occupation List which details professions which are in high demand in the UK. If you are qualified in one of these areas, it might be easier to get a work-based visa for the UK. A study has shown that associate professional occupations like IT technicians and investment analysts are also among the open jobs in the UK for foreigners.

Where to Find Your Dream Job

There are several ways to go about looking for jobs in the UK for foreigners. One great resource is the UK government’s Universal Jobmatch online service. As well as including a job database, once you’ve registered, Universal Jobmatch offers other services like saving previous job searches, sending you email alerts, letting you upload your CV, and keeping track of past applications. If you are searching for jobs in Northern Ireland, please visit JobCentre Online.

You can also search for jobs in newspapers. One of the best newspapers for this purpose is The Guardian, with its online job database. Other online job search engines are also a good place to start. If you are looking for work in a particular field, you can try looking at job advertisements published in trade magazines.

Networking can also be a very effective way to look for a job as an expat. Many positions aren’t advertised, and getting in touch with your professional contacts can help you find out about these potential vacancies. Through word of mouth, your fellow expats can help you tap into otherwise inaccessible job markets.

Recruitment Agencies

If you possess skills which are sought after by local employers, then going through a recruitment agency might be a good option for you. You can find the recruitment agency which best fits your needs on The Recruitment & Employment Confederation website. Even before you register, you should be able to figure out if a particular recruitment agency is right for you based on the type of jobs they have posted on their website.

Making It Official: Recognition of Your Skills in the UK

An important part of the job search for expats is getting your professional skills and qualifications officially recognized. Many employers will want to know what the equivalent of your international degrees and other qualifications are in the UK before hiring you.

For a fee, the National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) provides comparison statements for expats. This comparison statement is an officially recognized document which confirms your qualification and states its comparable level in the UK. The NARIC works on behalf of the UK government.


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