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The United Kingdom is a leading global economy and, according to the International Monetary Fund, it has the sixth-largest GDP worldwide in 2020. It is also one of the most globalised economies and among the world's largest foreign direct investors.
The UK's decision to leave the EU saw the pound fall to its lowest level in more than 30 years. However, it is still too early to determine the full impact of this and much will depend on the terms negotiated in the UK's exit deal.
Job market in the United Kingdom
As is the case in most developed countries, the economy of the UK is overwhelmingly fuelled by the strength of its service sector, which accounts for almost 80 percent of its total GDP. The most prominent service sectors in the UK are banking, insurance and business. Manufacturing is also a major contributor to the UK's economy. In addition, many important players in the aerospace industry are based in the UK and it is also home to a number of prominent pharmaceutical companies.
Finding work in the United Kingdom
At present, EU nationals have the right to live and work in the UK without needing to apply for a visa. Historically, this has given nationals of these countries an edge in the job market, since it requires less paperwork on the part of the employer than hiring someone from outside the EU. However, the future of EU expats in the UK remains uncertain in the wake of the UK's decision to leave the Union. At present, EU citizens are still free to enter the country and look for work, although they may find employers are less inclined to hire them in the current political climate.
Ideally, it is best to look for a job in person while in the UK. However, non-EU citizens will generally need a visa to enter the UK and there is no visa specifically for job seeking. While it's possible to enter on a visitor's visa, expats aren't permitted to look for work on this visa. In order to apply for a work visa, expats will need to have a job offer in hand. Naturally, this creates a catch-22 situation that is tricky to navigate.
The best course of action in the case of expats unable to look for work from within the UK is to contact British recruitment agencies relevant to one's profession. Networking on websites such as LinkedIn can also be helpful.
Are you an expat living in The United Kingdom?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to The United Kingdom. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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