Are you struggling to find talented candidates for UPS, SMPS, power electronics or semiconductor roles? Then it could be that you’re not casting your net wide enough.
With engineers in the electronics and semiconductor worlds in such short supply, one solution that’s worth exploring is becoming a Skilled Worker sponsor. That will allow you to hire skilled workers from the EU and outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) - as long as the candidate and the role you’re offering meet certain criteria.
What is a Skilled Worker Sponsor?
With freedom of movement within the EU becoming a distant memory, these days, if you want to hire workers from outside of the UK, you need a sponsorship licence.
From 1 December 2020, the Skilled Worker Visa replaced the outgoing Tier 2 visa. The Skilled Worker Visa has now become the main visa route available for non-British and Irish nationals (EEA and non-EEA) who want to work in the UK.
However, a foreign worker cannot simply apply for the visa unaided. Instead, they must first get a job offer from a UK company that is willing to hire them. That company must be a Skilled Worker Sponsor with an appropriate licence.
What are the requirements to become a Skilled Worker Sponsor?
You might assume that becoming a Skilled Worker Sponsor would be reserved for businesses of a certain size. However, there aren’t any requirements based on business size or trading history. As long as the business is operational and there is a genuine need for the employee, you can apply. That makes this route an option even for very small electronics businesses with just a handful of employees.
To assess your suitability for becoming a Skilled Worker Sponsor, UK Visas and Immigration will want to see evidence that the business has suitable HR processes and systems in place. It will also want to see evidence that there is a genuine vacancy and the individual has specialist skills that are not available locally.
How do you apply to become a Skilled Worker Sponsor?
There is quite a lot of paperwork required to become a Skilled Worker Sponsor. That begins with the initial application form. When submitting your application, you will need to provide certain documents to show that your business is genuine and trading in the UK. That includes:
- a VAT certificate;
- evidence of employer’s liability insurance;
- evidence of business premises; and
- a bank statement.
You’ll also be required to answer a number of questions:
- Why are you applying for a sponsor licence?
- What sector do you operate in?
- What are the names and titles of all staff?
- Which jobs do you intend to fill with foreign workers?
- What will their duties be?
- Where does the job sit in the business’s hierarchy?
- What skills, experience and qualifications are required?
- What is the minimum salary you will pay to fill the vacancy?
You can read more about the information you’ll need to provide here.
It usually takes between three and eight weeks for UK Visas and Immigration to decide on your application. During that time, it may decide to visit your organisation to check that the vacancies are genuine and that your business is capable of carrying out its sponsor duties. That includes checking whether suitable systems and HR policies and procedures are in place.
What are the benefits of becoming a Skilled Worker Sponsor?
Although the paperwork involved in applying to become a Skilled Worker Sponsor is considerable, in our experience, the benefits for most electronics companies make the process well worthwhile.
Once you have become a Skilled Worker Sponsor, you can hire as many EU and non-EEA electronics and semiconductors workers as you need, as long as you continue to meet the criteria. That makes the benefits ongoing and far-reaching. Ultimately, the ability to access these much larger talent pools can change the shape of your business and reduce your labour costs significantly.
Hire talented electronics candidates from around the world
At PER Specialist Recruitment, we have databases full of electronics and semiconductor candidates from Europe, North America and Asia who are actively seeking positions in the UK. We also identify and target professionals with the skill sets you need, wherever they are in the world, to take your business to the next level.
Get in touch to start your search today.
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