Indeed data shows how salary cut off is influencing interest from foreign jobseekers.

Pay threshold.

Data from Indeed has found that foreign workers searching for UK jobs are highly interested in professional roles that pay an above-average salary. The company analysed millions of jobs advertised on its UK platform to find the roles which receive the most clicks from overseas, both from workers in Europe and the rest of the world. The research forms part of Indeed’s Work Shift report, which gives business leaders a detailed understanding of Britain’s rapidly changing world of work.

The report comes as Britain’s immigration policy is in a state of flux. As the Government is expected to set out a range of reforms Indeed’s research suggests that higher-paid professional roles, which typically have salaries of over £30,000, are hugely popular among overseas candidates.

Higher education roles, such as fellow, senior fellow and post-doctoral fellow, are among the top 10 jobs seeing the highest level of interest from international candidates, measured using clicks on jobs advertised on Indeed.

Non-UK workers also regularly click on listings for lucrative tech jobs, with Android developer, SAP consultant, senior Java developer and machine learning engineer all featuring in the top 10 most popular roles, with each role seeing at least a quarter of interest come from overseas.

However interest from foreign jobseekers falls once you look at jobs paying less than the £30,000 threshold. Just 12 per cent of clicks on chemist vacancies and seven per cent of interest in researcher job listings comes from foreign-based candidates, with these high skilled jobs paying an average of £27,500 and £28,900 respectively.

The government is now expected to accept a recommendation by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to reduce the threshold to £25,600 for most migrants (and scrap it for public sector health and education roles) to make it easier for the UK to attract skilled workers to critical, but less highly paid, jobs in the NHS and teaching.


Table: UK jobs with the highest share of interest from overseas candidates

Rankings Job title Clicks from overseas candidates ( per cent) Average annual advertised salary2
1 Senior fellow 37 per cent £41,979
2 French teacher 31 per cent £30,974
3 Android developer 27 per cent £54,009
4 SAP consultant 26 per cent £53,890
5 Corporate lawyer 26 per cent £81,424
6 Post-doctoral fellow 25 per cent £36,007
7 Senior Java developer 25 per cent £66,390
8 Machine learning engineer 25 per cent £56,694
9 Fellow 25 per cent £39,246
10 Salesforce developer 24 per cent £59,337

Indeed’s analysis also showed how workers in different parts of the world are drawn to certain highly skilled UK jobs. For instance, the most popular role among Indian jobseekers searching Indeed for a job in Britain is software engineer. Previous analysis by Indeed also found that more than a fifth (20.9 per cent) of all searches for UK jobs made by India-based jobseekers are for tech jobs.

However, interest among American tech professionals in UK tech jobs has declined over the past two years, with the share of searches by US-based tech workers looking for roles in the UK falling from 17.1 per cent in 2017 to 13.6 per cent in 2019.

“UK jobs in higher education and tech are easily the most popular among overseas workers,” said Pawel Adrjan, UK economist at Indeed. “These are professional roles, which require specific training or expertise, and often have a salary over £30,000 – meaning they are not affected by the current standard minimum salary threshold for non-EU immigrants.

“But what a difference a few thousand pounds makes,” he continues. “Other jobs which are similarly skilled but which pay just below the standard £30,000 threshold see less interest from overseas applicants, even though EU citizens are currently able to come to Britain to do such work without restrictions.

“There are thousands of roles in vital sectors that require skilled people to do them, but which pay far less than £30,000 – and are suffering from a shortage of domestic talent. Finding a formula that allows highly skilled candidates to come from abroad to meet this need will be one of the key challenges of this year’s Brexit trade negotiations.

“Record employment and declining interest of European jobseekers in British jobs mean businesses in many sectors could find it increasingly difficult to hire workers: migration flows are one way to release that pressure,” Adjan concludes.

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