After learning that there are 1.3 million positions open, nearly 500,000 more than there were before the pandemic, UK ministers have pledged to address the surge in job vacancies.
This involves examining strategies to encourage British and international students to take on more part-time work in order to tackle shortages in sectors including hospitality and retail.
Currently, the 680,000 international students studying in Britain are only allowed to work 20 hours a week during the academic year. This restriction was set in place to prevent students from exploiting their student visas as a cover to gain employment. However, conversations regarding either increasing this cap to 30 hours or doing away with it altogether have started.
Co-founder of RateMyPlacement, Oliver Sidwell, comments,
“The UK’s target of attracting 600,000 international students per year by 2030 has already been surpassed. With growing numbers of international students heading to the UK for their education, universities across the UK increasingly benefitting from tuition fees which are triple that of a UK domiciled student.
“Rishi’s plan to allow foreign students to work more hours is a fantastic move on many levels. Many international students struggle to find work experience to give them the practical skills to support the theory from their degree, so this encourages and enables more work experience to give them a more rounded university experience (which will only help attract greater numbers of international students in the future too).
“The cost of living crisis is also very real for students, enabling more hours supports those students who are paying for their accommodation and sustenance. Many industries have seen staff resources depleted following Brexit, with hospitality in particular losing many foreign workers.
“With ministers looking to “remove barriers and encourage students to work”, I expect hospitality to receive a welcome boost following this news, with many foreign students able to increase their hours.”