The UK government is in discussions to extend the amount of time international students are contracted to work in the country. Currently, the limit is set at 20 hours per week; new proposals would extend this to 30 hours or even remove the limit completely, giving greater freedom to employees and their workplaces.
The main reason for this is to give international students the chance to fill job vacancies in the UK, mainly in the retail and hospitality industries. These were areas hit hard by Covid and are still struggling to get back to pre-pandemic service levels. Having a ready-made workforce willing and able to fill these gaps will boost the UK economy, as well as boost the income of students.
The British government are keen to encourage international students to find work in the country and is willing to offer incentives to do this, such as completely removing the restrictions on working hours. This can only be a positive for young people arriving to study in the United Kingdom, as it will offer plenty of opportunities to make money, broaden their skill set and see more of the culture and lifestyle of the UK.
These proposals are similar to other countries that currently have restrictions on working hours. Canada allows international students to work more than 20 hours a week, although this is only in place until the end of 2023. Similarly, Australia will review its policy of having students work 40 hours a fortnight in June of this year. Currently, there are no time limits on the UK’s working hours proposal and no restrictions on how long it will last.
International students coming to the UK number in the thousands every year, which is a fantastic source for employers in this country. These new proposals benefit both students and the workplace, enabling greater financial freedom for individuals arriving from abroad and benefitting the UK economy simultaneously.