Roofing Industry Can Hire Skilled Workers From Overseas

Skills Shortages in the Roofing Industry

The latest State of the Roofing Industry survey report from NFRC and Glenigan indicated that direct employment levels plateaued in Q2 of 2023 among roofing contractors, with use of sub-contracted labour only rising slightly.  

Firms also reported increased difficulty in finding workers with the necessary skillset. 46 per cent of firms experienced greater difficulty recruiting suitable labour during the second quarter compared to the previous quarter, against only six per cent seeing an improvement in recruitment conditions.

Expanding Your Search Globally

In July 2023, the UK government expanded its shortage occupation list to address the growing demand for skilled professionals in the construction industry sectors. One noteworthy addition to the list is occupation code SOC 5313: Roofers, Roof Tilers, and Slaters. 

In this blog post, we'll explore what this means for recruiting overseas talent in the roofing industry, how to go about it, the associated costs and how to remain compliant.

Job Roles Under SOC 5313: Roofers, Roof Tilers and Slaters

The UK now welcomes overseas talent to fill key positions in roofing-related job roles, such as:

  • Mastic Asphalt Spreader
  • Roof Tiler, Roofer
  • Roofing Contractor, 
  • Slater, and 
  • Thatcher 

It's important to note that when filling a vacancy, the specific job title doesn't matter as much as the job description. If the role's responsibilities align with SOC 5313, you can consider recruiting talent from abroad.

Applying for a Sponsor Licence

To recruit overseas talent in any of these roofing roles, you'll need to apply for a sponsor licence if you do not already have one. 

The application process involves demonstrating your business's eligibility, meeting specific requirements, and committing to compliance with UK immigration laws. Please find a more in depth blog on how Migrate UK can help with your sponsor application  here.

Cost Considerations

The UKVI costs of applying for a sponsor licence can vary depending on your organisation's size. The application fee is £536 for small business and £1476 for medium to large businesses. 

Once approved, the organisation must cover the mandatory employer fee for the certificate of sponsorship, which costs £239 per employee and the immigration skills charge, which ranges from £364-£1000 per year of sponsorship depending on the size of the business. 

The following application and health surcharge fees can be paid by the business or the applicant at the business’s discretion.

As SOC code 5313 is a shortage occupation, the applicant/organisation benefit from paying lower visa fees and the worker can be paid 80% of the job's usual going rate and still qualify for the skilled worker visa, allowing for the organisation to cut their costs.

Shortage occupation application visa fees are £551 where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less and £1084 where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years. The Immigration Health surcharge is currently charged at £624 per year of sponsorship but is expected to increase to £1035 per year by the end of 2023. 

*In partnership with NFRC, all members are eligible for a 10% discount on all legal fees if Migrate UK are appointed in the application process. (Excludes Home Office/UKVI fees).

Finding Overseas Talent

After obtaining a Sponsor Licence, you can initiate the recruitment of skilled professionals internationally. The licence enables global recruitment, provided that the organisation can demonstrate to UKVI there is a genuine vacancy and the ability to meet the minimum salary requirements for the potential candidate. Additionally, the applicant may need to provide evidence of meeting the English language requirement for sponsorship.

Compliance Guidelines

Remaining fully compliant is paramount once a sponsor licence has been granted. Organisations are responsible for reporting any significant changes or breaches to UKVI in a timely manner, maintain accurate and up-to-date records for sponsored workers, and conduct right-to-work checks to confirm an employee’s immigration status.

Navigating immigration laws and ensuring compliance can be a complex process. Migrate UK can help you manage the process efficiently, assisting with guidance and legal expertise to keep your licence and HR systems in good standing, reducing the risk of compliance issues and legal penalties. 

We offer one year’s free compliance service for all clients that we have assisted in securing their sponsor licence. 

In summary, the expansion of the shortage occupation list to include roofing-related job roles offers exciting opportunities for UK businesses looking to recruit overseas talent. Migrate UK can help you follow the proper procedures, stay compliant, and help you tap into a pool of skilled professionals to help meet the demand. 

Get in touch with Migrate UK

If you would like to find out more information on applying for a sponsor license or how to employ skilled workers from overseas, please don’t hesitate to book a free initial consultation with us.


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