How to Get a Job in the UK From Nigeria

For many working in the UK is a dream come true! This is because the UK has a strong economy, numerous job opportunities, high-quality healthcare services, and an internationally acclaimed education system, among other attractions. Additionally, the historical ties between the UK and Nigeria, stemming from the colonial era, contribute to the allure of the UK as a travel destination. Working in the UK is also a good thing especially for those aiming to earn income in foreign currency. Hence, in this article, we will show you how you can work in the UK from Nigeria among other information.

Benefits of Working In the UK

1. Access to Healthcare and Education

Living and working in the UK comes with the advantage of free healthcare and education, up to a certain extent. Residents, including immigrants, enjoy access to high-quality healthcare services during emergencies and pay minimal fees for regular check-ups, thanks to government subsidies. Additionally, children have the opportunity to receive free education at renowned schools. The UK is also home to globally acclaimed universities like Cambridge and Oxford, offering top-notch education, impressive campuses, and promising job opportunities after graduation.

2. Convenient Entry Point to Europe

One of the prime advantages of residing and working in the UK is the ease of travelling to European countries. The United Kingdom is easily accessible through Heathrow Airport, a major international travel hub. Moreover, numerous budget-friendly airlines facilitate visits to Europe whenever desired.

3. Abundant Career Opportunities

London, in particular, is a thriving hub for numerous companies, presenting immigrants with a wealth of career opportunities based on their qualifications. The UK also hosts many international companies, making it likely that your preferred organization has a presence in London.

4. Rich Cultural Offerings

The UK is a good place for lovers of culture, with numerous free-to-visit art galleries, museums, and theatres. This cultural diversity ensures there’s always something to explore and enjoy.

5. Welcoming and Polite People

The UK is renowned for its friendly and courteous population, making it relatively easy to make new friends and connect with people after relocating.

6. Ideal for English Speakers

For those fluent in English, like Nigerians, communication, finding employment, and establishing connections would not be a problem. London, in particular, is a magnet for immigrants from English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, and the United States. However, if English is your second language and you aspire to live and work in the UK, there are excellent online language training platforms available to help you learn English, ensuring a smooth adaptation into the community.

However, it is important to note that before you can work in the UK legally, you need to obtain a work permit or visa.

What is a UK Work Permit/ Visa?

For Nigerians aspiring to work in the UK, obtaining a work permit is mandatory. There are various types of UK work permits or visas available, depending on factors such as your skills, qualifications, job offer or sponsorship, the nature and duration of your employment, and whether you plan to relocate with your family. However, our primary focus here is on the Skilled Worker Visa, which replaced the Tier 2 General Visa. This visa is the most common long-term visa option for those seeking employment in the UK. With this visa, you can reside in the UK for up to five years and even extend it when it expires. Most importantly, you must secure a job offer that falls within the eligible occupations list before applying for this visa.

It is important to note that the UK employs a Points-Based Assessment System for immigration. Hence, applicants must accumulate a specific number of points to qualify for a work permit.

Eligibility Criteria for UK Work Permit/Visa

To qualify for a UK work permit or visa, you must meet the following criteria:

1. Accumulate a total of 70 points under the Points-Based Assessment System.

2. Secure a job offer from an employer approved by the Home Office.

3. Satisfy the stipulated salary requirements.

4. Possess at least a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, along with a minimum of two years of work experience in a field listed as eligible.

Requirements for Obtaining a UK Work Permit/ Visa

To acquire a UK work permit and commence work in the UK, you will need to provide the following documents:

1. International passport

2. Evidence of English proficiency test results

3. Job title

4. Annual salary details

5. Job occupation code

6. Employer’s name

7. The employer’s sponsor license number

8. Your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) reference number

9. Proof of financial capability

10. Tuberculosis test results

11. Certificate of no criminal record

12. Proof of accommodation arrangements

13. Travel itinerary

14. Evidence of payment for UK visa fees

15. Completed UK visa application form

How to Apply for a UK Work Visa/Permit

The following steps would guide you in applying for a UK work permit or visa:

1. Begin by creating a user account on the GOV.UK website. This platform also helps you determine the visa type needed for your trip.

2. Next, complete the application form, pay the visa fee, and schedule an appointment at a visa application centre. You’ll receive an email confirming your appointment and listing the required documents. Keep note of your GWF number for the next step.

3. Register your information on the TLScontact website, as this is mandatory for attending your appointment. You can also use this site to track your application after registration.

4. Attend your appointment at a UK visa application centre, where you’ll provide your biometrics. To ensure a smooth process, bring your original passport, printed copies of your online application and appointment confirmation, visa fee payment receipt, all necessary documents, and supporting documents. Be punctual, as late arrivals may lead to delays or appointment rescheduling.

5. Allow time for your visa application to be processed. You can monitor its progress on the TLScontact website.

6. Once your visa is ready, receive a notification and collect your passport from the designated Visa Application Centre.

Getting a Job in the UK from Nigeria

1. Meet the Requirements

  The initial step towards securing a job in the UK involves satisfying the prerequisites. While we’ve provided general requirements earlier, it’s crucial to recognize that each job may have specific demands. Some positions necessitate a two-year work history in the field, while others may require no prior experience. Furthermore, educational qualifications can vary between roles. It’s essential to research the specific requirements for your desired job and be prepared to fulfil them if necessary.

2. Write Your CV

   Your curriculum vitae (CV) serves as a vital representation of your qualifications and greatly influences your employability. It’s important to note that CVs for Nigerian job applications differ from those in the UK due to different standards. Therefore, before applying for any position, you should tailor your CV to align with UK expectations. The following tips will be helpful in this regard:

3. Craft a Strong Cover Letter

   A cover letter is an additional means for employers to assess your qualifications and fit for the role. Before composing your cover letter, research the company extensively, including its values, vision, mission, key personnel, and achievements. Remember that a cover letter should not solely focus on you but also demonstrate your understanding of the company and your potential contributions. Ensure your letter is brief, formal, and to the point, with meticulous attention to grammar and sentence structure.

4. Utilize Online Resources

   The digital age has simplified job hunting. You can conveniently search for suitable positions from the comfort of your home by exploring job websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Reed. These platforms provide diverse job listings, complete with job descriptions, salary ranges, and employer details. With a plethora of options available, it’s advisable to define your preferences before conducting your search to avoid confusion. Additionally, consider leveraging UK recruitment agencies like InterQuest Group, Blue Arrow, and Morgan Hunt for job opportunities.

5. Networking

 Networking plays a pivotal role in job hunting, as connections often prove invaluable. Engage with like-minded individuals and seize opportunities to pitch yourself. Attend career-focused events, conferences, and seminars to expand your professional circle. Even if you’re an introvert, capitalize on online platforms such as LinkedIn. Optimize your profile with a professional photo and share pertinent posts, as you never know who may be observing your activities.

In-Demand Jobs in the UK for Nigerians

1. Graphic Designers

In the dynamic realm of communication, visual content plays an important role. Whether it’s creating logos, digital banners, websites, packaging, or traditional print materials, there’s a significant demand for skilled designers. Although the initial salaries start at £18,800, these earnings can swiftly rise with experience and exceptional work.

2. Physical Scientists

The oil, gas, and mining sectors are crucial in achieving sustainability in any country. However, these sectors face a scarcity of expert scientists capable of leading sustainable initiatives. This places physical science roles among the most sought-after jobs in the UK, offering promising opportunities for STEM students.

3. Sales Assistant

Sales assistants serve as the primary point of contact for customers, assisting them in finding desired products, addressing inquiries, and explaining product functions. Qualifications matter less than skills and experience in this role, with qualities like working under pressure, quick thinking, computer proficiency, and effective communication being valuable assets.

4. Operations Manager

Operations managers hold a broad range of responsibilities, accompanied by higher salaries. Their specific duties vary depending on the industry and employer, but their primary objective is to ensure the seamless operation of an organization. Aspiring operations managers often benefit from having a business-related degree, such as an MBA, which can open doors through graduate trainee programs.

5. Business Analyst

Business analysts play a pivotal role in helping organizations chart a path for future growth. Their responsibilities encompass assessing the company’s current state, identifying future needs, and devising solutions to drive success and expansion. While this often involves working with IT and software solutions, it may also extend to areas like staffing and budgeting. A business-related degree, such as Business Information Systems or an MBA with a Business Analytics specialization, is highly advantageous for aspiring business analysts.

Minimum Wage in the UK

The United Kingdom’s minimum wage also referred to as the National Minimum Wage varies based on the employee’s age. Here are the minimum wage rates for different age groups:

1. National Minimum Wage for individuals aged 23 and above: £9.50 per hour

2. National Minimum Wage for individuals aged 21-22: £9.18 per hour

3. National Minimum Wage for individuals aged 18-20: £6.83 per hour

4. National Minimum Wage for individuals under 18: £4.81 per hour

5. The Apprentice rate: £4.81 per hour

Conclusion

Embarking on a career journey in the United Kingdom from Nigeria is indeed a beautiful aspiration. With careful planning, adherence to the necessary steps, and a clear understanding of the requirements, the dream of working in the UK can become a rewarding reality. Whether you are driven by financial gain, a desire for personal growth, or the chance to contribute to the UK’s vibrant workforce, remember that your journey begins with knowledge and preparation. Hence, by following the guidance provided in this article, you can pave the way for a fulfilling and prosperous career in the United Kingdom.

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