How Immigration Can Drive Business Growth and Innovation

immigration can drive business growth

The word ‘immigration’ can have negative connotations for some, but there are many positives which don’t make the news. In this article, we’re looking at how immigration can drive business growth and innovation in the UK.

Despite Brexit and a global pandemic, immigration solicitors for individuals continue to see the UK as an incredibly popular destination for immigrants from Europe and beyond.

With them, they bring an array of skills.

In this article, we’re exploring how immigration can drive business growth and innovation for UK businesses.

Immigration to the UK

Last year, approximately 1.2 million people immigrated to the United Kingdom from Europe and beyond. While living and working in the UK has become more restrictive since Great Britain’s departure from the EU in 2020, it’s far from impossible.

Today, a number of different visa options offer immigrants the opportunity to relocate to the UK for a period of time, and some include:

  • Seasonal Worker visa (Temporary Work)
  • Government Authorized Exchange visa (Temporary Work)
  • Creative Worker visa (Temporary Work)
  • Religious Worker visa (Temporary Work)
  • Charity Worker visa (Temporary Work)
  • International Agreement visa (Temporary Work)

While most of these visas are based on a limited time, some can be renewed or extended for a longer stay.

How Can Immigration Drive Business Growth and Innovation?

There are a few ways in which immigration can drive business growth and innovation, and we’ll be examining some of these in this section:

Plugging the Skills Shortage Gap

Despite being home to some of the world’s best colleges and universities, UK businesses often struggle to source skilled and experienced staff in some sectors such as technology.

By being able to source employees from overseas, UK companies are able to plug their skills gaps and remain competitive with the rest of the world.

Connecting Cultures

As technology makes international business easier than ever before, UK businesses understand the value of employees who are able to speak two or more languages.

Throughout Europe, English is taught and spoken widely, meaning that employees are able to hit the ground running after moving to the UK, as well as adding the very real benefit of a second or even third language.

In addition, an immigrant employee will often have an understanding of a particular culture, which may not be the case with UK staff.

This can help to forge deeper and more effective business relationships with overseas businesses.

A Melting Pot of Ideas

Hiring immigrant employees is a great way of increasing diversity in your workplace. The knock-on effect of this is that when you have a workplace made up of different people from different backgrounds and cultures, you introduce a melting pot of ideas and ways of working.

This can be particularly effective for companies operating in creative industries, where competition tends to be fierce.

Money Matters

When hiring staff with specialist skills, UK companies will usually be looking at graduates who, even at junior levels, can be expensive.

On the other hand, hiring skilled employees from rapidly emerging markets such as Poland and Slovenia can be extremely cost-effective.

This is not to say that employees from such countries are valued less, but because salaries may generally be lower abroad, so they are able to accept lower salaries and still live comfortably.

Tapping Into the Upskill

When you have a diverse workforce, you automatically encourage knowledge sharing.

For UK businesses, this can introduce an opportunity for upskilling existing employees, as immigrant staff share their unique knowledge and skills within the workplace.

In normal circumstances, upskilling employees can be an expensive business. So, as well as adding a level of diversity, immigrant employees can help to keep down upskilling costs within a business.

Bringing the World Closer

Advanced technology means that more and more employees are able to work remotely. This presents significant opportunities for UK businesses and for immigrants, as immigrant employees are able to live and work in Great Britain, but also visit their home country on a regular basis without a break in their productivity.

Getting Onboard With Immigrant Employees

As we’ve highlighted in this article, there are some excellent reasons for employing immigrant workers, however, there are some strict rules involved.

Before committing to an employment contract, make sure that you are aware of the regulations as well as seeking evidence that the employee has the right to work in the UK by, for example, holding the correct visa.

If you’re unsure of your obligations as an employer when hiring immigrant staff, the Government website will help to steer you onto the right path.

A New Way for the UK

In today’s world, our working lives are evolving rapidly – as are businesses. The digital world offers a huge number of opportunities and, as great as this is, it also means a higher level of competition than ever before.

Being able to source employees from overseas is a fantastic way of gaining an advantage if your business has a lot of competition, as well as adding new ideas and innovation to your operation.

As mentioned in this article, you do, however, need to make sure that you have followed all of the British Government’s regulations when hiring immigrant workers in order to avoid a hefty fine and/or potentially losing your employee.

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a legal professional if you’re seeking advice about business immigration. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.