Immigration update: New additions to shortage occupation lists

29th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

Migration Advisory Committee has recommended more professions to be added to the shortage occupation lists.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended that teachers in special schools and skilled meat boners and trimmers should be recognised as occupations where the United Kingdom is in need of immigrant labour.

The MAC advises the government on skills shortages that can sensibly be filled by migration. If its recommendations are accepted, teachers in special schools and skilled meat boners and trimmers will be added to the shortage occupation list - meaning that employers in the United Kingdom will be able to recruit migrants to these jobs without needing to carry out a resident labour market test first.

In response to changing economic circumstances, the MAC is also recommending the removal of some engineering and construction jobs from the shortage occupation list, as well as ship and hovercraft officers.

For the time being, skilled chefs remain on the recommended list. However, the MAC expects to see accelerated efforts to train the United Kingdom workforce in this profession before the list is reviewed again next year.

Other occupations that the MAC recommends adding to the list are:

  • specialised jobs in the electricity transmission and distribution industry;
  • some medical specialisms, including higher-level speciality paediatrics trainees; and
  • aircraft technicians and fitters.

The recommendations are included in the MAC's latest report, which follows its second partial review of its recommended shortage occupation list. For the report, the MAC reviewed all healthcare and engineering occupations, chefs, teachers (further/higher, secondary, primary, and special needs education teaching professionals), town planners, managers in construction, quantity surveyors, ship and hovercraft officers, veterinary surgeons, sheep shearers, work riders, ballet dancers, skilled fish filleters, meat boners and trimmers.

All the occupations included in the original recommended shortage occupation list have now been reviewed at least once since the MAC issued its first recommendations in 2008.

Professor David Metcalf CBE, who chairs the MAC, said: "The points-based system, including the shortage occupation list, has to operate for the benefit of UK workers, especially given the current economic climate.

The Migration Advisory Committee's latest recommendations take account of the impact of the worldwide recession on the UK. We have looked at the evidence and made recommendations that balance the needs of the UK workforce against those of employers.

It is important to note that some shortages of skilled labour will still exist in a recession. This can be where there is a long-term structural shortage of skilled workers, where workers provide key public services, or in areas such as culture where the UK needs to maintain global leadership."

The government will issue its response to the report in the coming weeks.

October 2009

UKBA/ Expatica

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