60% of UK Based International Students Get an Awesome Job
60% of UK-Based International Students Get a Job
According to a survey conducted by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services regarding the 2022 employment rates, 60% of students who were able to apply for the UK’s new post-study work visa have secured a job. The survey also revealed the extent of the challenges international graduates face in explaining their immigration status to employers.
In 2019, the government announced that the graduate route would launch in 2021, allowing UK international graduates to look for work in the country for two or three years for PhD candidates without needing a separate work visa. Many have welcomed this route as a way to attract more top talent to the UK.
However, the survey shows that there is still some way to raise awareness of this route among employers. Many international graduates reported difficulty explaining their visa status to potential employers, with some even saying that they were turned down for jobs because of it.
Nevertheless, the survey also revealed the extent of the challenges international graduates face in explaining their immigration status to employers. Many international graduates reported difficulty explaining their visa status to potential employers, with some even saying that they were turned down for jobs because of it.
According to Helen Atkinson, careers consultant at Newcastle University and co-chair for AGCAS international students, “It’s quite baffling really that in the international education strategy, the government said that they were going to work with the sector to enhance the body of evidence that we have about international student graduate outcomes, whilst at the same time the HESA policy change limited the amount of data that institutions have about their students and what they are going to do next,”
The government’s commitment to making the UK an attractive destination for international students is clear. The new graduate route provides opportunities for students to stay in the UK and find employment after graduation. However, more must be done to ensure that employers are aware of this route so that more international graduates can take advantage of it.
With a graduation rate of 77%, most of the respondents had graduated from a postgraduate course, which now offers the most economical route to access the UK education system by providing a full visa window of three years for one year of university fees.
Relating to their job search after graduation, students reported a competitive jobs market, with the majority (42%) applying for more than 50 jobs in their search. However, the status of employment nine months after graduation was largely positive: full-time (60%), part-time (7%), unemployed (26%) and other (7%).
By mapping graduate roles to government occupational codes, it was revealed that 58% were in professional occupations, 19% were in associate professional and technical disciplines, whilst 9% were in managerial occupations. The most common professional for international students were in Business, HR and Finance (22%), followed by ICT (10%), Engineering and Manufacturing (9%) and Architecture, Science and Pharmaceuticals (8%).
The most popular destinations for international students were London (42%), the South East of England (17%), the Midlands (9%) and Scotland (5%). The top three reasons given by respondents for working in the UK were better work prospects/career development (41%), following a partner/spouse (14%) and because they enjoyed living in the UK (12%).
For those who had left the UK to return home or move elsewhere, the main reasons given were family reasons (33%), their visa had expired (22%), or they found it difficult to find work (17%). The findings of this survey show that the graduate route is a step in the right direction. However, more must be done to ensure that employers know this route and its benefits so that more international graduates can take advantage of it.