Job opportunities for non-EU workers

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published the new recommended lists of occupations for which there is a shortage of skilled workers in the UK and Scotland.

The Committee’s lists are recommendations to Government. It will be up to Government whether or not to accept them. The occupations on the recommended list account for approximately 700,000 employees. Shortage occupation lists will be used in Tier 2 of the new Points Based System which relates to immigration of skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Under Tier 2, as well having as a certificate of sponsorship from a sponsored employer and satisfying English language and maintenance requirements, migrants have to satisfy points criteria based on their expected contribution to the UK economy. Under the shortage occupation route, employers who are licensed sponsors can bring in migrant workers from outside the EEA to fill vacancies in those occupations.

It might be difficult for employers whose jobs are not in this list to bring foreign workers in the UK in the future.

MAC’s report is a detailed and comprehensive response to the Government’s request to provide evidence-based advice on which shortages of skilled labour can sensibly be filled through immigration.

It contains two recommended shortage occupation lists, one for the UK and one just for Scotland. These consist of skilled occupations and job titles that the Committee has assessed as being both skilled and in shortage and where it has concluded that it is sensible to fill these shortages, at least in the short term, through immigration.

The full recommended UK list includes: consultants and senior nurses in particular healthcare specialists; some engineering occupations, including civil and chemical engineers; quantity surveyors and project managers for property development and construction; secondary school teachers in the subjects of maths and science; skilled chefs; skilled senior care workers; ship and hovercraft officers; and some animal care occupations, including veterinary surgeons.

The recommended Scotland list includes all of the occupations on the UK list, as well as manual filleters of frozen fish, senior nurses in care of the elderly units, and speech and language therapists.

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