U.K. Labor Shortage Opening Up Visa Review for Broadband Engineers

British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, announced she will approve hiring foreign fiber broadband engineers due to a domestic shortage. ISPreview reported that U.K. network operators and ISPs are facing a deficiency of skilled workers as the country funds the most extensive broadband rollout in its history.

Currently, over one hundred network operators are building out Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) in the U.K. Many are establishing in-house training schools to tackle the labor shortage, which takes time and money to operate. However, there’s an immediate need for skilled fiber engineers. 

According to ISPreview, other EU countries like Spain and Portugal have fiber engineers available for hire, but until the recent announcement by the Prime Minister, securing cross-border help has been a challenge. Truss is committed to fast-tracking FTTP buildout and will launch a review of Britain’s visa system to close the labor shortage gap.

Changing Britain’s “shortage occupation list” to include fiber or broadband engineers will result in relaxed eligibility criteria for sponsored work visa applications (less paperwork, fewer delays, and lower fees). The changes could also loosen the English-speaking requirement to enable more foreign workers into the country, though telecom operators still need English speakers, reported ISPreview.

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