13 September 2011 #Immigration
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), an independent advisory body, has advised that number of jobs on the Shortage Occupation List be reduced. This will limit migrants from outside the EEA to a smaller proportion of occupations in the UK.
The MAC recommended that the list be reduced to cover 190,000 employees (not migrants), less than 1% of the UK workforce. In 2008 that list covered over 1 million employees.
The jobs on the list are the only positions available to migrants from outside the EEA under the shortage occupation route of Tier 2 work visas. Where a job does not fall on the list, the employer must complete a resident labour market test to show that no suitably qualified settled worker can fill that job.
A total of 29 job titles are recommended for removal from the list. They include: secondary school biology teachers; consultants in obstetrics and gynaecology; paediatric surgery; veterinary surgeons; and tutti orchestral musicians.
There are 33 recommended additions to the list include: specific roles within the visual effects and 2D/3D computer animation for film; television and the video games sectors; high integrity pipe welders; environmental scientists. These will help to ensure the UK remains a leading global player in these fields.
However, employers and business groups have repeatedly warned that the cap could deter talented individuals or exclude the workers they need to keep their organisations running.
Professor David Metcalf, the Chairman of the MAC said that this ‘recommendation will only have a limited impact on migration volumes’ due to the annual cap on Tier 2 visa of 20,700.
The government will now consider the MAC`s recommendations and respond in due course.