UK Accountancy and Finance Market Experiences Sharp Increase in Non-EU Professionals

In the midst of the current controversy surrounding the acceptance (or otherwise) of immigrants into the UK, it is interesting to understand the trends currently affecting the immigration of accountancy and finance professionals within the market that we specialise in.
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As mentioned in our H1 2015 Market Review, something that we have definitely picked up on as of late is the talent-short market in that we are currently operating. With the best candidates in the market being counter-offered and coaxed into staying by their desperate employers, companies who are looking to hire a skilled accountant or finance professional are finding themselves with particularly slim pickings.

The answer? According to data obtained by the Home Office, hiring from outside the EU is proving increasingly popular as a measure to counteract the lack of qualified professionals in the UK.

In 2014, 3,204 non-EU accountancy and finance professionals came over to the UK; a significant increase of 33% from 2013 and a 65% rise since 2010.

As the UK recovers from the recession and companies begin to work towards their ambitious growth strategies once more, there simply aren’t enough trained professionals available within the domestic market. The larger professional services firms held back on recruitment and training programs in order to consolidate during the downturn, and the result of this is evident in the skill-scarce environment we are currently in.

However, hiring from outside of the EU has its challenges too, namely in the form of a company’s ability to obtain visas. Tier 2 visas allow skilled migrants to remain in the UK for up to five years and are applicable to anyone outside of the EU, but in June this year 1,329 visa applications were rejected due to a cap that was introduced by the Home Office.

We currently place a high amount of non-EU candidates within the UK but a notable trend we have picked up on is a reduction in the number of antipodean immigrants coming over to the UK, which is likely due to the implementation of stricter immigration rules and a stronger Australian economy.

With 14% of employers in the UK stating that they anticipate they will be privy to a professional/managerial candidate shortage in the next year according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the question on everyone’s lips is how can they source the skilled accountancy and finance professionals they are inevitably going to require? Work with a specialist recruitment agency of course! 

Sheridan Maine’s unmatched knowledge of Finance and Accountancy Recruitment is why we are the go-to specialists for permanent, contact and interim positions for a broad range of clients across Basingstoke, Southampton, Reading, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Bristol, London and Birmingham.

If you would like any further information about this article, we would be pleased to help you. Likewise, to understand more about how we could work with you to support your organisation’s recruitment strategy or find out about our current vacancies please get in touch with your local Sheridan Maine office or submit your CV here. We look forward to hearing from you soon!