More than 11% of the labour market in UK is non-nationals ranging from different countries, including EU. More than 1.5 million people are non-UK nationals working in important sectors like retail, public administration, health, hospitality and finance.
But is it actually beneficial to hire a non-national instead of hiring a UK national? This depends on various factors of course, but hiring non-nationals is not without its benefits. We have explored for you some advantages of hiring non-nationals, other than the obvious diversity of the workforce:
- Competitive and cheap labour
Individuals, flock to economically stable countries for jobs and to change their livelihood and support families back home. Any individual, as a first priority, would start hunting for job opportunities. Further to that, individuals, hailing from other countries, provide an added advantage, in terms of lower wages and higher educational qualifications. For smaller economies, the advantage hails from the fact that the UK Currency fares better, allowing for individuals to be able to send more money, in conversion back home.
- Skilled and trained labour
Trained and skilled local workforce is quite expensive in the UK. Hundreds of such skilled foreign workers are available who are willing to work at relatively lower wages than the local workforce. This not only provides cheap labour to the UK employer but a vast number of skillsets and experience to choose from. Such labour also brings along ideologies and management styles that may be different and diverse, allowing for diversity to blend in with the current workforce. This diversity can range from managerial techniques to communication, and from working styles to expertise and experiences. There are several technical fields in the UK where the demand for skilled labour is quite high. Individuals applying for work permits always rack up better points if they qualify for one of these skills or fields.
- Less favoured jobs by locals
Jobs that are less favoured by locals, such as ones with odd working hours, in areas that require a relatively longer commute than usual, or have a pay scale or responsibilities that the national workforce may be overqualified for, can have non-nationals working on these positions. There are a few reasons for such a case. Non-nationals, in a lot of situations, after landing a work permit, may want to seek a job that effectively fulfils their bills immediately, or may take up positions, when they have limited choice of options available.
- Contribution to the Employer and the Economy
Non-UK workers have contributed in several ways; the employer benefits in both ways, availability of experienced labour and cheaper cost hence impacting the bottom line. In addition to this, their contribution to UK’s GDP is huge. A recently published report says 10% of 2.1 million construction workers are foreign nationals. Likewise, hundreds of thousands of foreign workers are contributing to UK’s economy by rendering their services in food processing, clothes manufacturing, cleaning and IT.
- Diversity of cultures
Diversity in the workforce is built when an organization hires a mix of different nationalities. Culture, business, and practices all combine on a single platform, allowing the organization to benefit from this diversity in many ways. This includes enhancing the learning capability of the organization which can benefit in product and service delivery as well as customer focus.
Statistics for August 2017, compared to the past 20 years, show a serious influx of non-nationals working in the UK. Office for National Statistics indicate that a total of 3.56 million people are working in the labour force at this point in time:
This also means a world of opportunity when employing a non-national allowing for several benefits that you as an employer can gain.