Next move: Do IT graduates need a work permit?

I am an international student doing a degree in software engineering. I would like to get some experience in the UK's IT industry...

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I am an international student doing a degree in software engineering. I would like to get some experience in the UK's IT industry after finishing my degree. I am expected a first-class degree and have excellent work experience, but I am finding it very difficult to get an offer. What is the government's latest policy on work permits?

The solution
Find a sponsor by selling your skills

Graduate programmes are always sought after and you are going to be up against a lot of competition. However, it is important you understand the law on international students' right to work in the UK after graduation.

It is imperative that the following factors are considered:

* The Home Office's new policy allows international students to reside in the UK when applying for a work permit once they have received sponsorship. It does not allow international students to stay in the country without restriction and without a work permit

* For a work permit to be sponsored, a company must demonstrate that they have advertised the role "in the most appropriate medium for reaching suitably qualified or experienced resident workers". If suitable applicants have not been found, an application for work permit sponsorship may be made.

When applying to a firm, you must make it aware that you are an international student and will need a work permit. The need for you to sell your capability and skills will be integral to your success. Not mentioning that you are an international student will hinder your cause in the long run, as you will have to prove your eligibility to work in the UK.

Further details

Solution by Steve Hallett, operations manager, Reed Technology

The panel: MSB International, Spring Group, E-Skills UK, British Computer Society, Computer Futures, Hudson, Computer People, Elan, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology.

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