A Definitive Guide To Work In The UK (With How To Get A Job)

Updated 23 March 2023

Working in another country can be an exciting opportunity to grow your career and gain relevant professional experience while learning about new customs and cultures. A high standard of living, diverse culture and competitive salaries are a few reasons to consider migrating to the UK. If you want to find a job in the UK, learning more about the job opportunities and requirements to secure employment can help you decide if this is the right career decision.

In this article, we explain what it is like to work in the UK, list the benefits of working there and review steps to finding a job along with visa requirements and tips for working.

Legal and employment requirements mentioned in this article are relevant as of February 2023, according to the UK government. Consult UK government laws directly to find the most up-to-date legal information. Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

What Is It Like To Work In The UK?

Knowing what it is like to work in the UK can help you decide whether migrating to the country is a good option. Most UK employees work a traditional nine-to-five job or approximately 40 hours weekly. You can work up to 48 hours per week, or longer than that if employers state this in an agreement you sign.

All employees get 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave. In addition, they receive sick, paternity and maternity leave. Employers offer several public or bank holidays, depending upon the country you work in. For instance, Scotland has nine public holidays, Northern Ireland has 10, and England and Wales have eight.

Benefits Of Working In The UK

Here are some benefits of working in the UK:

  • Excellent pay: Salaries in the UK are relatively high compared to other countries. As the country follows the national minimum wage (NMW) policy for individuals aged 23 and over, it offers an attractive working option.

  • Diverse job market: The UK offers numerous job opportunities in different fields, including healthcare, technology, construction and engineering. This diversity can make it easier to find jobs matching your interests and skills.

  • Strong employee rights: The UK follows strong employment laws protecting employees from discrimination, exploitation and unfair treatment in the workplace. As a result, employees from diverse backgrounds can feel a sense of belonging and community.

UK Skills Shortages

The UK has skills shortages in the following industries:

  • Accountancy, banking and finance

  • Construction

  • Creative arts and design

  • Engineering

  • Healthcare

  • Hospitality

  • Science and pharmaceuticals

  • Social care

Language Requirements

English is the primary language of the UK. You may find it necessary as an Indian citizen to prove that you can read, speak and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR). Passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) can show your proficiency. While English is the prominent and most common language, dialects and regional accents vary depending on the location. Other languages widely spoken across the UK include Spanish, German and French.

Related: Language Skills: Definition, Examples And How To Improve

Explaining Your Qualifications To Employers

Your current qualifications may not be directly comparable to those in the UK. Explaining your qualification to employers can help you secure a job. Using tools such as UK ENIC (UK National Information Centre), find out how your qualifications compare to the UK qualification.

UK Work Visas

The UK offers various work visas for Indians planning to move there. Depending upon your needs, you can apply for any of these visas:

  • Global Talent visa: This visa is for individuals recognised as leaders or potential leaders in their field. The duration of this visa is five years, and it is extendable.

  • Skilled Worker visa: This is for individuals with a skilled job offer from a UK employer. For eligibility, it is essential to meet certain skills and salary requirements.

  • Senior or Specialist Work visa: If you are transferring to your existing employer's UK branch to work in a high-skilled job, apply for this visa. You can stay in the UK for up to five years with this visa.

  • Tier 5, or temporary work, visa: This visa covers short-term work, such as in the creative or sporting sectors. Under this visa, you can apply for the Youth Mobility Visa, allowing individuals aged 18–30 years to travel to the UK for up to two years.

How To Get A Job In The UK?

Follow these steps to get a job in the UK:

1. Determine your goals

Before searching or applying for any job, decide on the country and industry you want to work in. Research the major industries and employers to ascertain where you may find more job opportunities. Consider factors such as the cost and standard of living before choosing a country.

Related: 7 Steps For Creating A Successful Goal-Setting Process

2. Search for jobs online

After deciding on a location, search for jobs online. Look for job postings on online job sites, company websites or social media sites. Some UK-based companies may seek international candidates with specialised skill sets. For instance, engineering and software companies often hire international employees with specific skills and relevant degrees. You can also use the services of a recruitment agency to help you search and apply for suitable jobs.

Related: 8 Best Practices For Online Job Search (With How To Search)

3. Create your resume

After ensuring you meet all the job requirements, create your resume with details about your experience, qualifications and skills. This information helps hiring managers decide whether you are a suitable candidate and ascertain what value you may bring to the company. Submit a cover letter conveying your desire and excitement to work abroad.

Related: Curriculum Vitae (CV) Format Guide (With Examples And Tips)

4. Attend the interview

If hiring managers find your profile interesting, they may schedule an interview. Before attending the interview, prepare for commonly asked interview questions. This helps you give thoughtful answers, increasing your chances of securing an employment contract or job offer. Upon receiving your job offer, apply for a work permit to ensure a smooth transition to the UK.

Related: How To Prepare For A Job Interview

Necessary Skills For Working In The UK

While you can move to the UK for various jobs, some in-demand skills may differentiate you from other candidates. Some skills that can help you have a successful career in the UK include:

  • IT: The IT industry is a major industrial sector. Technology skills, such as web design, engineering, programming and cybersecurity, may help you search for employment with various businesses.

  • Healthcare: If you work in healthcare, your administrative and clinical skills can make you eligible for various jobs. Hospitals and clinics typically hire healthcare administrators, physicians and nurses.

  • Manufacturing and construction: Your manufacturing and construction skills could help you easily find jobs in the building industry. Knowledge of blueprint design, manufacturing processes, safety techniques and computer-aided drafting can help you excel.

  • Retail and hospitality: Skills related to customer service can help you excel in the retail and hospitality industries. Depending on your skills, you can become an event planner, chef or hotel manager.

Tips For Working In The UK

Here are some tips for working in the UK:

  • Familiarise yourself with UK laws. The UK has strict laws and regulations regarding employment, including NMW, health and safety protocols and working hours. Familiarise yourself with these laws to increase your chances of securing a job.

  • Build your professional network. Networking can help you find jobs in the UK market. Focus on joining industry associations, attending conferences and professional events and participating in online forums to build a strong professional network.

  • Develop your language skills. A proficiency in English can support your education and help you live a comfortable life in the UK. If English is not your first language, consider taking language courses to improve your communication skills.

  • Check your passport. Before applying for any job, check your passport to ensure it is valid. If your passport expires soon, apply to renew this document to ensure seamless travel to the UK.

  • Take advantage of training opportunities. Most UK employers offer training and development opportunities to upskill their employees. Take advantage of these opportunities to improve your knowledge and skills and show employers what you can achieve.

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