Data from the UK government in March 2023 showed that London’s population is increasing slower than previous forecasts predicted. As per the economic report, London’s population was 133,000 people less in mid-2021 than analysts at the Office for National Statistics expected. This lower-than-expected population increase was due to falling birth rates since 2016 and an outflow of migrants, according to the report. As stated, an estimated 130,000 people moved out of London between 2020 and mid-2021.
Business Activity Is on the Up
Despite London’s population growth rate slowing, business is booming. Within the same report, government data shows that the PMI’s new business activity index showed a positive trend in January 2023, moving from a score of 49.5 to 50.2. Overall business activity was also up, suggesting that London’s employment sector is gaining momentum. Which sectors are the most active in terms of business activity and employment? According to employment data from Indeed, “high demand” jobs in London for 2023 include:
- Customer Service/Support
- Council Workers
- Software Engineers
- Nurses and Carers
If you broaden your focus and look at the UK as a whole, other in-demand jobs for 2023, according to the student careers website Edmissions, are:
- Cyber Security Experts
- Graphic Designers
- Sale Assistants
- Business Analysts
As you can see, there is high demand for employees in a variety of sectors. From science and IT to healthcare and retail, there are job opportunities for types of skilled workers. However, as we know, London’s population isn’t growing as fast as expected. This, combined with the fact business activity is on the up, means bringing workers from abroad may be necessary for employers. The good news is that there are ways and means of bringing skilled workers to the UK legally.
Sponsored Workers Could Keep Business Activity Flowing
Employers can use a sponsor licence to bring people from overseas to the UK. As long as an employer knows how to apply for a sponsor licence and use the sponsor management system, they can issue Certificates of Sponsorship to eligible workers. From this, they can grow their workforce and tap into London’s strengthening business sector. Of course, it’s not just a case of using the system and bringing people over. There are clauses and conditions in place to ensure applicants meet certain requirements. This is where business owners need to educate themselves. Employers need to know what makes them suitable and, in turn, what the sponsor licence requirements are for workers.
For example, a business must be lawfully operating in the UK, not pose a threat to immigration control and have adequate HR systems in place. These are just a few of the checks employers need to pass before they can even think about recruiting workers. It’s the same for prospective workers. Knowledge is power. As well as understanding the process of obtaining a sponsor licence, people from overseas need to know if their skills are required. The data suggests that skills in a broad range of sectors are required, but it’s always worth doing your own research.
London will always be a business hotspot, but the demand for workers could slowly outweigh the local population. This could make overseas more valuable to the local economy than it’s been previously. Indeed, the latest data on population and business activity suggests they might become even more important over the next few years. If that’s the case, business owners need to know how they can recruit people from abroad safely, legally and efficiently using the sponsor licence system.