Changes to the shortage occupation list come into effect

14 November 2011

On 18 October 2011 the government announced that it was accepting recommendations from the Independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on changes to the shortage occupation list. Specialist jobs that are no longer required in the UK have been removed from a government-approved list that helps to ensure the UK only accepts migrant workers that the country needs.

The shortage occupation is part of the Tier 2 immigration route via the points based system. Highly skilled migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) seeking to work in the UK must apply for visas via this route. Employers can only bring someone into the UK under Tier 2 if the job is on the shortage occupation list or if they pass a resident labour market test (no suitable resident workers apply after advertising the job in the UK first for 4 weeks).

Occupations that the MAC recommended be removed from the list include:

  • secondary education biology teachers;
  • speech and language therapists;
  • pharmacists;
  • orthoptists;
  • veterinary surgeons; and,
  • rank and file orchestral musicians.

Added to the list will be:

  • actuaries;
  • high integrity pipe welders;
  • environmental scientists; and,
  • geochemists

The government has accepted the MAC’s recommended list in full however, rank and file orchestral musicians will not be removed from the list immediately, until further discussions take place with the industry to discuss the resident labour market test.