IMPACT – HIGH
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has released its report and recommendations on the Shortage Occupation List.
The report recommends a substantial expansion of the SOL to include a broader range of jobs in health, information technology and STEM fields. The recommendations would expand the SOL from 1% of total jobs (180,000 workers) which it currently covers, to about 9% of all jobs (around 2.5 million workers).
The SOL is the list of skilled jobs for which local workers are deemed to be in shortage and for which employers may hire non-EEA workers without labor market testing and without being subject to the numerical cap on Tier 2 (General) visas if the category is oversubscribed. Non-EEA workers filling jobs on the SOL also pay lower visa fees and are not required to meet the salary threshold of £35,800 for permanent residency (settlement) after five years.
The MAC makes the following recommendations:
The complete list of recommended SOL jobs is available in the MAC’s full report.
Background: On June 14, 2018, the government commissioned the MAC to undertake a full review of the SOL and issue a report with recommendations by spring 2019. The MAC launched a Call for Evidence on Nov. 9, 2018 and accepted comments for nine weeks, as well as conducting stakeholder events. The committee received approximately 600 responses.
The MAC is an independent group of economists that conducts analysis and makes recommendations to the U.K. government on immigration policy. Its policy recommendations are not binding on the government, but are highly influential and often adopted.
Analysis & Comments: The MAC’s recommended expansion of the Shortage Occupation List would be a welcome development to ease the labor shortages currently felt by U.K. companies. In particular, the MAC found that the jobs most in shortage are programmers and software development professionals, and the shortage of these workers affects not only the digital sector but businesses in sectors across the board.
Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.
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