The global pandemic has thrown working lives in the air as we grapple with the ‘new normal’ and find ourselves looking for certainty in an uncertain employment world.
One thing that is certain is that companies will become more digitally-driven than ever ahead of what the World Economic Forum has dubbed the ‘Great Reset’ of economies and societies.
And while the disruption of lockdown turned many traditional working practices on their head, there are big opportunities in the UK for those with the talent to remodel the future on a digital footing.
Yash Dubal, director of London-based A Y & J Solicitors and a UK expert on Immigration and Visa Law, believes the British jobs market will see an urgent need for highly skilled workers from India in key sectors as the nation finds its feet in a post-COVID world. And he says that this demand can be addressed by India’s huge and skilled international workforce.
Mr Dubal says: “For the tech community, this is an absolutely key time. The way we work has change immeasurably in just a few short months and the World Economic Forum’s description of a Fourth Industrial Revolution now seems more apt than ever. It’s happening now and it’s charging ahead.
“Though this has brought hardship to some, and wreaked havoc for some of our industries, there are still great opportunities in the workforce. Look at the importance of the IT department; with so many people now working from home, they have taken on a vital new position as enablers of business. Increased workloads on IT will, I am sure, see an increase in demand for IT professionals.
“There has always been a demand for highly-skilled talent in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data science, and I strongly believe this will continue to be the case post-pandemic.
“There was already an accepted need for businesses to improve productivity via digitalization but, after COVID, we will see that speed up at a rate of which no-one would have dreamed possible before. The only thing that could hold UK industry up is a lack of the highly skilled people with the vision to make it a reality.”
However, Mr Dubal warns that UK firms wanting to hire the best tech talent from abroad could face a shock after January next year, as only three per cent of businesses are currently eligible to employ overseas workers.
UK employers wishing to hire skilled migrants must be registered on the government visa sponsor scheme when new immigration rules come into effect next year. Currently the scheme only applies to workers from outside Europe but after 1st January 2021, all overseas workers will require a visa under the new Points-Based Immigration System.
Mr Dubal adds: “There has been a big campaign about the new points-based system, but hardly any of it has been aimed at employers to tell them that they need to register if they plan to hire skilled workers from abroad next year. There is already a shortfall in tech talent in the UK. The danger is that, from next year, there will be a double whammy effect of a rapidly digitilised market, but with UK firms unable to hire the talent they need due to visa issues. My advice to those firms is to act now, get the sponsor licence to avoid skilled personnel shortages.”