UK Skills Shortage: Sponsor Licence Scheme and Economic Outlook

Street Musicians, Oxford Street, London

Street Musicians, Oxford Street, London

Sanwar Ali,

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By Sanwar Ali:


  1. Introduction
  2. The UK Skills Shortage: Economic Problems
    1. Impact on Business Confidence
    2. Slow Economic Growth
    3. Growing Employment Gaps
  3. The Sponsor Licence Scheme
    1. Overview
    2. Eligibility and Requirements
    3. Shortage Occupation List
  4. Addressing the Skills Shortage
    1. Upskilling Existing Workers
    2. Attracting Diverse Talent
    3. Utilizing the Sponsor Licence Scheme
  5. Economic Outlook and Growth Prospects
    1. Positive Business Expectations
    2. Investment and Headcount Growth
  6. Sponsor Licence Scheme: Can Help
    1. Sponsor Licence Assistance
    2. Contact Information
  7. Conclusion



The UK is currently facing a significant skills shortage, which is impacting the country's economic growth and business prospects. In response to this issue, the UK government has already increased the types of people who can be sponsored under the sponsor licence scheme to include people at lower skills levels.  This helps employers recruit more skilled workers from outside the UK on a skilled worker visa. There has also been an increase in the number of occupations on the shortage occupation list.  This article will explore the extent of the skills shortage, the economic problems it is causing, and how the sponsor licence scheme can be used to address these challenges.

The UK Skills Shortage: Economic Problems

Impact on Business Confidence

The skills shortage in the UK is causing concern among business leaders, as evidenced by the Directors' Economic Confidence Index. In May 2023, the index stabilized at -6, indicating a broadly neutral-to-negative stance on the prospects for the UK economy. Many businesses cite economic conditions, skills shortages, and employee skills gaps as their top concerns.

Slow Economic Growth

The skills shortage is impacting the UK's economic growth, as companies struggle to find qualified employees to drive innovation and productivity. The lack of skilled workers can hamper business expansion and investment, leading to slower overall economic growth.

Growing Employment Gaps

The skills shortage is also causing employment gaps in certain sectors, particularly in fields such as digital technology, coding, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence (AI). These gaps can exacerbate the problem, as companies struggle to fill positions and maintain a competitive advantage.

The Sponsor Licence Scheme


The sponsor licence scheme is designed to help UK employers recruit skilled workers from outside the country on a skilled worker visa and certain other UK work visa schemes. By obtaining a sponsor licence, companies can sponsor certain individuals for a UK visa, provided they meet the points requirement.

Eligibility and Requirements

To sponsor a skilled worker, a company must first obtain a sponsor licence from the UK Home Office. To apply, the company must go through quite a complicated process and provide a number of documents.  Once the sponsor licence is granted the UK employer can obtain a certificate of sponsorship to employ each overseas worker. The sponsored worker must also meet specific requirements, including having a job offer from the sponsoring company, a valid certificate of sponsorship, and a salary that meets the appropriate threshold.

Shortage Occupation List

The UK government has a shortage occupation list that identifies occupations with a critical skills shortage in the country. Employers sponsoring workers in these occupations may find it easier obtaining a sponsor licence and skilled worker visa.

Addressing the Skills Shortage

Upskilling Existing Workers

One approach to addressing the skills shortage is to invest in upskilling existing workers. Companies can offer training and development opportunities in areas such as coding, cybersecurity, and AI to help employees expand their skill sets and contribute to the company's growth.

Attracting Diverse Talent

Improving diversity in the technology industry can also help address the skills shortage. By attracting talent from various backgrounds, companies can tap into a broader range of skills and experiences, fostering innovation and growth.

Utilizing the Sponsor Licence Scheme

The sponsor licence scheme is a valuable tool for companies struggling to find skilled workers in the UK. By sponsoring international talent, businesses can gain access to the specialized skills they need to drive growth and remain competitive in the global market.

Economic Outlook and Growth Prospects

Positive Business Expectations

Despite the ongoing skills shortage, many UK businesses remain optimistic about their future prospects. The index of director confidence in their organizations' future prospects rose in May 2023, with a majority of respondents expecting their revenues to increase in the next year.

Investment and Headcount Growth

Many UK businesses are also planning to increase their investments and headcounts in the coming year. This could indicate a growing confidence in the ability to address the skills shortage and support economic growth in the UK.

Sponsor Licence Scheme: Can Help

Sponsor Licence Assistance

If your business needs help employing skilled workers and applying for a sponsor licence, can provide expert guidance and support. We can assist with sponsor licence applications and help you comply with your sponsor licence obligations.

Contact Information

For more information and advice, please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at


The UK skills shortage is a pressing economic issue that is impacting business confidence and growth prospects. By leveraging the sponsor licence scheme and investing in upskilling existing workers, companies can address the skills gap and help drive economic growth in the country.