Guide to new rules for recruiting international graduates

Jun 22, 2021 | Sector & policy

A new guide has launched, offering everything employers need to know about the new rules for recruiting international graduates.

The UK’s prestigious higher education system continues to attract hundreds of thousands of international students each year.

Many of those students apply for placements, internships and jobs. And employers have the potential to gain a more diverse workforce, fill skills gaps in areas such as STEM and grow exports by leveraging international graduates’ knowledge and language abilities.

To take advantage of the benefits international graduates offer, employers need to understand the new rules under immigration law, which are making it easier to hire.

ISE held a recent workshop on the topic, with more information in Stephen Isherwood’s blog on New visas for international students explained and there is a new guide out, specifically for employers, with the latest information.


Guide to recruiting international students

ISE has been a member of the international student employability group (ISEG), which was established last year in response to the research findings from the report Supporting International Graduate Employability Making Good on the Promise which recommended ‘establishing a cross-department working group or similar with responsibility for international student/graduate employability to support the delivery of the strategic approach’.

The latest initiative includes a new guide for employers on Recruiting International Graduates.

As well as highlighting the unique skillset international graduates bring, the guide explains the hiring options under the Graduate and Skilled Worker routes.

The Graduate route has made it much easier for employers to hire international graduates. It allows international graduates to stay in the UK for up to two years (or three if they have a PhD) to work or look for work. The work is not subject to a minimum skill level or salary threshold.

For employers looking to hire longer-term, the Tier 2 visa has been replaced by the Skilled Worker visa. This offers more benefits to employers including more flexibility over skill level and a lower salary commitment.

The main difference between the Graduate and Skilled Worker routes is that the Graduate visa is a personal one – the employer doesn’t apply for it on behalf of the student. But be aware that after two years, those on this visa will need to get the Skilled Worker visa if they are to stay in the UK.


Everything employers need to know

As well as in-depth information on the main routes, the guide offers case studies, a comparison guide and answers essential questions.

Download the employer guide to Recruiting International Graduates.

Read more advice and insight to recruiting international graduates

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