In the latest study, it was found that around 72% of international students on post-study work visas in the UK are working in graduate-level positions. The report published by Association for Graduate Careers and Advisory Services (AGCAS) surveyed several hundred students from 77 countries in 2022 to come to this conclusion.
This claim is quite contradictory to the UK Home Secretary, Suella Braverman’s claims that foreign students generally are mostly employed in jobs that require low skills and have no contribution to economic growth.
It has been reported that the UK Home Office has sent a proposal to reduce the stay-back period of international students from two years to six months in the country.
However, this policy will face strong opposition within the government. UK Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan will strongly advocate for oversea students’ rights and will oppose the cuts in the international student number.
Among students who were employed through the Graduate Route, three-quarters were in graduate-level roles. IT, engineering, education and business are the key job sectors that imbibed the maximum number of foreign students.
The report stated that it was pleased to find overseas graduates employed in a variety of graduate job opportunities and with a diverse range of organisations. This diversity and figures demonstrate the opportunities showered by the UK Graduate Route to students and employers alike.
The study also found that nearly a third of the graduates were employed in skill shortage list job roles.
AGCAS also painted the grim picture of about one-quarter of struggling students who were unemployed and had difficulty finding job roles as employers refused to accept the graduate route as a valid work visa.
The organisation demanded a cross-government campaign that would educate employers on different immigration policies and routes available for foreign students in the UK. It also called for the removal of the Immigration Skills Charge required to switch an employee from a graduate to a skilled worker visa.
AGCAS executive director, Elaine Boyes said that the international students were ready to devote their time, energy, talent, commitment and knowledge to the UK economy but many are facing difficulty because of their work visa status. The UK stands at a risk of losing this talent pool if the problems are not immediately addressed.
The AGCAS refutes Ms Braverman’s claims and suggests that the graduate route should be extended if the UK wants to maintain its competitive advantage and protect its share in the market.
The UPP Foundation invested in this research. The director of the organisation, Richard Barner, said that the government must work with universities and employers to make the UK an attractive place to study and work and maintain global competitiveness.
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Source: Times Higher Education