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Newcastle E-Learning Company Recruits International Talent Following Successful Sponsorship Application

A Newcastle-based e-learning company has grown its team to 39 following the successful recruitment of Northumbria University master’s student Lala Rukh as a junior web developer, with the help of UK Top 100 law firm Ward Hadaway

GCSEPod, based at Charlotte Square, Newcastle, is an award-winning digital publisher for over 27 GCSE/IGCSE subjects. The firm provides ‘education on demand’ helping schools to successfully blend learning and students to study and complete their schoolwork from wherever they are; on any device. It also helps teachers embed learning with students.

The growth of GCSEPod has been accelerated by the recruitment of Pakistani national Lala Rukh, who joined the team in January 2020 on a part-time basis. Her talents quickly became clear as an accomplished website developer with outstanding technical knowledge, who is a self-motivated team player.

Having failed to find a UK national with the skills needed to fill the role during two previous recruitment rounds, GCSEPod successfully applied to UK Immigration Services for a sponsorship licence. This allowed them to offer Lala a permanent role subject to switching her visa to a Tier 2 General visa for which the company could now sponsor her, with the help of expert immigration lawyer Flora Mewies from Ward Hadaway.

Helen Newies, Operations Director at GCSEPod, who worked with Flora to secure the company’s sponsorship license, and subsequently sponsor Lala said; “We had gone through two unsuccessful rounds of recruitment to find a junior web developer before we found Lala. When we met her, we knew immediately that she was a great fit for us, with highly accomplished technical skills and the experience and qualifications we were looking for.

“We quickly decided to sponsor Lala and support her UK Tier 2 Visa application to allow her to work for us permanently, but that meant applying for our Sponsorship Licence. Visa guidelines can be incredibly complicated with lots of red tape, so we turned to Ward Hadaway for support. Their team helped us cut through the red tape, understand the process and present a compelling argument for our application, underlining why we were so keen to secure Lala’s talents.”

As the UK exits the European Union it will be more important than ever for companies to continue to access a global talent pool. Ensuring businesses and individuals have the right paperwork in place and can make strong cases for immigration is key to success.

Flora Mewies, expert immigration lawyer and associate at Ward Hadaway said; “We understand that immigration law and visa applications can be an extremely daunting and complex process. We have a wealth of experience supporting both individuals and organisations to successfully secure visas to live, work and study in the UK and we aim to make the application process as simple as possible. We’re delighted GCSEPod has secured their Sponsorship Licence.”

Ward Hadaway has launched a new freely available resource hub to help those wishing to live, work and recruit into the UK. The hub was created in response to unprecedented demand from clients and contacts looking for clearer, more relevant guidance when seeking to navigate the complex legal territory that is immigration law.

The hub can be found at

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