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ATC Publishes Post-Brexit Guide for Language Industry

Language Industry News and Events

In light of the looming post-Brexit immigration rules, the ATC has released a blog post describing the implications for translators and interpreters migrating to the UK for work.

As Europe braces for the final stages of Brexit, immigrants are scrambling to figure out ways to navigate travel and work with the UK’s new “points-based system.” The new rules could have a considerable impact on translators and interpreters, who have been able to travel freely under the EU’s freedom of movement. In light of the major changes to immigration, the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) released a blog post this week describing the impact on the language services industry and providing a guide for translators and interpreters hoping to continue working in the UK post-Brexit.

“The ATC and its members have actively campaigned to secure continued access to the linguistic skills of translators, interpreters and multilingual staff to language service companies and the UK’s public and private sectors,” said the post. “Our aim is to ensure that the route to these skilled roles remains accessible post-Brexit.”

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Among the more obvious routes, the Skilled Worker path will likely attract a large number of translators and interpreters, especially given that the UK will not put a cap on skilled workers, nor will prospective employers need to advertise for a vacancy for a set time in the UK before opening up a position for international recruitment.

While these rules have upsides, applicants must still score 50 mandatory points from a job offer from a licensed sponsor at the required national qualifications level 3, and fulfill the English language requirements. An applicant can earn points based on factors such as salary, shortages in the occupation, and PhD completion in a subject relevant to the occupation.

“For translators and interpreters under SOC code 3412, the relevant minimum salary for the points-based system is £25,600, as is the ‘going rate’ for the profession,” the post explains. “For project coordinators under SOC code 3539, the relevant minimum salary for the points-based system is £25,600, and the ‘going rate’ for the profession is £23,300.”

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Under the new rules, both undergraduates and graduates will be able to stay in the UK, but the maximum stay depends on the level of education. The rules also grant additional points for new entrants under 26 years of age who are switching from the student or graduate routes to the skilled worker route and are working toward recognized professional qualifications or moving directly into postdoctoral positions.

Even with these possible routes for translators and interpreters, the ATC is still lobbying for translators and interpreters to be included on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). For such an industry that intrinsically requires migrants, lawmakers in the UK may have to consider what type of negative impacts the new rules will have on translators and interpreters as well as those whom they serve.

“In our linguistically diverse society, translation and interpreting services also underpin the fair and equitable treatment of speakers of more than 300 different languages,” said the blog. “The services of the UK’s 1,600 language service companies ensure that the justice system, police and the national health service have access to the information they need, when they need it, and whichever language they need it in.”

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