More than 200,000 UK jobseekers have applied for a new temporary employment visa to work in the country, as the UK government ramps up its recruitment drive.
The new scheme, which will allow employers to apply for up to three people to work at the same time in a temporary visa, is expected to be introduced next month.
More than 4,000 people applied for the scheme last month, with nearly one in three claiming the opportunity to work while they wait for a visa.
“There’s been a steady increase in applications, but it’s been fairly steady for the last three months,” said Alex Riddle, the founder of JobCentre Plus.
“So far, there’s been around 600 people applying, and the next month we expect that number to be around 600, and hopefully that number will continue to increase as the number of vacancies increases.”
The Government says the scheme will be available to employers who have an approved workforce for the period.
“If you’ve got a workforce of four, five, six people, we’ll give you the right to get a temporary, one-off visa for you to work here in the coming months,” a spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said.
“But you can’t just come and apply to work on the same day as a new job.
It’s a different process, and you’ll need to have a work permit and you need to show that you’ve met all the requirements for a temporary.”
The DWP says employers who don’t meet the criteria will have their visa rejected.
The jobseekers in question are mostly young people who have been applying for the new temporary visa since January.
They have the option to work for up of 14 days and can apply for a permanent visa once they’ve secured their new job in a designated area of the UK.
They can work in their own local community for up 12 weeks before having to reapply for their new permanent visa, which is available for up a maximum of four months.
However, some applicants have found that the process of securing their new visa is difficult.
In some cases, they’ve found it difficult to find accommodation to live in, and have been left with no option but to stay in temporary accommodation for the time being.
In another example, a 25-year-old student from Wales who applied for her new temporary job in London said she was told that she needed to move to a new area of London for the duration of the three-week period she was on the programme.
The University of Reading student said: “I had been staying in the same flat for four weeks, but was told to move from the area to the area, which would mean living in a different flat, which I had been living in for the past two years.”
I then got an email from the immigration department saying that I needed to show I had met all my requirements for an extended stay visa to be able to stay for the three weeks I had on the scheme, and I had no option.
“My friends were told they had to stay with their parents and I could go home if I wanted to, but I couldn’t.”
The job I wanted was in the City, so I couldn´t see that going through immigration again.
“Riddle says he’s been overwhelmed by the number and variety of jobseekers trying to find jobs in the capital.”
We’ve got an economy going on, and we’ve got the population going up, and it’s not just the young people.
We’ve got people in their 20s who have done some work in Europe and are starting to get jobs,” he said.
The government is also trying to boost the number who can work with their families while they’re in the United Kingdom.”
It’s a real concern for many of these people that they have no other option but go home and take a job and are going to have to return home and they’ve got nowhere else to live,” he added.”
That’s a huge concern for a lot of them, but also for employers, who don´t want to be a burden on the workforce.