The healthcare industry employs roughly 6% of the total workforce, making it a significant employer. However, there remains significant shortages and the role of overseas nationals is critical to healthcare delivery in the UK, as evidenced by the fact that overseas nationals made up 12% of the healthcare workforce in 2018 (ONS, 2019). The industry is heavily politicised, with constant manifesto pledges to increase the healthcare workforce.
Despite government efforts, the healthcare industry continues to have difficulty filling key positions. Nursing, for example, is in the worst shape, according to a report from the House of Commons (‘The Health and Social Care Workforce Gap,’ 10 January 2020). The same source estimates that there are 122,000 full-time equivalent vacancies in the healthcare industry, highlighting the industry’s severe recruitment and retention challenges.
A sponsor licence is mandatory, in our opinion, to mitigate the shortage of personnel to meet the demand for healthcare services. Employers with a sponsor licence can hire foreign healthcare workers from all over the world, including EU and non-EU countries, to fill job vacancies in their companies that they are unable to fill with the UK market. The obtained result is widening the talent pool for potential recruitment. A sponsorship licence is valid for four years once granted, and the majority of applications are processed within just eight weeks. Here at Sterling Law, we are committed to assisting throughout the entire process, tailoring to the specific needs of your company.
The Health and Care Worker visa requires employers to have a sponsor licence to sponsor skilled workers. In comparison to other visa routes, healthcare industry applications are expedited and are less expensive. To be considered for a health and care worker visa, an applicant must be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional, or adult social care professional, have a job offer from a UK employer with a sponsor licence, and be paid at least the minimum salary threshold. Therefore, we advise that a sponsor licence be obtained in advance to avoid delays recruitment, when needed.
Sterling Law will ensure that the application process is straightforward and hassle-free. Obtaining a sponsor licence can take a matter of weeks, assuming all compliance and documents are in order. We will assist with gathering all required documents, drafting required letter’s as well as ensuring that there is a correct compliance procedure in place. Sterling Law has a track record of obtaining sponsor licences for our clients regularly. We have secured almost 100 sponsor licences for our clients, and that number is rapidly growing. The outcome has eased recruitment woes, and our clients have grown operations as a result.
It’s important to keep in mind that your company must meet a few criteria. These include (but are not limited to) appointing an authorising officer and ensuring proper compliance, being a legitimate business, and looking for a legitimate job opening. After that, the potential employee must be employed in one of the eligible occupations and be paid a minimum gross salary for the role to be eligible. Following this, the worker will be given a “certificate of sponsorship” and will be able to apply for a skilled worker visa to work in the United Kingdom.
In conclusion, a sponsor licence is well worth the extra effort, as evidenced by the 34,000 UK organisations that currently use one to meet their recruitment needs. It is clear that many companies simply are not able to source the staff they need locally. Your company will be able to mitigate staff shortages and meet demand in such a critical industry by obtaining a sponsor licence.
Please contact us if you require any additional information or to discuss your recruitment needs. Sterling Law is here to assist your needs.