Britain’s post-Brexit immigration system has propelled the nation to a position of greater allure for foreign workers than the European Union, as indicated by data from job site Indeed.

The sweeping changes to the immigration framework in the wake of Brexit have led to a surge in interest in British job opportunities from international candidates.

According to Indeed’s statistics, the adoption of the post-Brexit immigration overhaul in 2021 has yielded remarkable results.

Views of UK job listings on the Indeed website originating from individuals outside of Britain have witnessed a remarkable rise of 142 percent since early 2021.

This figure now stands far higher than at any point since at least 2017.

A transformation

A pivotal transformation occurred in January 2021 with the introduction of a new point-based immigration system by the British Government. This innovation has streamlined the process for non-EU individuals seeking employment in the UK. The system employs a scoring mechanism that evaluates specific criteria, including proficiency in English and the presence of a job offer. Furthermore, holding a PhD, earning a substantial salary, or entering a sector facing a scarcity of workers can augment an applicant’s point count. Attaining a score of 70 is the threshold for visa eligibility.

Notably, the observations made by Indeed underline a significant shift in the types of positions that overseas workers are targeting. Pawel Adrjan, an expert from the recruitment website, noted that there is an apparent pivot towards high-skilled roles, particularly in fields such as software development. This trend contrasts with the previous pattern, wherein European workers often occupied lower-skilled positions.

The British Government’s proactive approach in redefining its immigration policies has resulted in an expansion of the shortage occupations list. Consequently, it has become easier for professionals in diverse fields such as software development, care work, and even ballet dancing to immigrate to the UK.

Social workers and home carers

Yet, the most notable surge in interest has been observed in social workers and home carers. Prior to the pandemic, these roles garnered views from around 2 in every 100 overseas workers. However, this figure has surged to more than 9 in 100, marking a significant transformation in the labour market. The appeal for these positions is particularly pronounced among individuals hailing from Nigeria, India, and South Africa. The addition of these roles to the shortage occupation list in 2022 has notably fuelled this growth, according to Pawel Adrjan.

Comparatively, interest in job opportunities within the EU from overseas workers has remained relatively stable, hovering around 3 in every 100 views. This discrepancy highlights the challenges the EU is facing in establishing itself as a prime destination for foreign job seekers, despite its gradual recovery from the pandemic’s lows.

A standout outcome of these changes has been the record-high net immigration to Britain, reaching 606,000 individuals in 2022. This milestone has been chiefly fueled by arrivals from outside the EU, illustrating the newfound allure of the UK’s labour market.

In the wake of Brexit, Britain’s revamped immigration approach has not only managed to attract foreign talent in higher numbers but has also sparked a shift towards high-skilled roles. As the nation’s workforce evolves, the dynamics of the labour market continue to transform, heralding new opportunities and challenges alike.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.