Going gets tough for skilled foreign welders, meat boners, trimmers

MAC recommends removal of 8 job titles from shortage occupation list

4th March 2011: The path to the UK is expected to hit a roadblock for high integrity pipe welders, skilled meat boners, skilled meat trimmers and skilled senior care workers.

For the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended removing these job titles from the UK shortage occupation list.

Giving details, the UK Border Agency said: `The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended that eight job titles be removed from the UK shortage occupation list.

`This follows the MAC’s recommendation last month that 71 occupations be removed from the list of occupations that qualify for Tier 2 of the points-based system. This is to meet the government’s objective of raising the skill level of Tier 2 to National Qualifications Framework level 4 and above (NQF4+).

`To bring the shortage occupation list into line with the rest of Tier 2, the MAC has recommended removing job titles including high integrity pipe welder, skilled meat boner and skilled meat trimmer and skilled senior care worker….

`Some job titles are also recommended for amendment. The MAC found that only a small proportion of chefs are skilled to NQF4+. Chef jobs on the list are, therefore, recommended to be restricted to those requiring a minimum of five years relevant experience and paying at least £28,260 per year.

Chair of the MAC, Professor David Metcalf, said: ‘Placing limits on migration requires that we are far more selective and ensure only highly skilled migrant workers can come to work in the UK.

‘For instance, only the top 5 per cent of chef jobs will be open to Tier 2 workers under these recommendations as a result of a more stringent earnings threshold.’

The UKBA added: `MAC estimates these recommendations, if accepted, will mean Tier 2 applicants coming into the country via the shortage occupation route will only be eligible for approximately 230,000 jobs, less than one per cent of the labour market, down from 1 million jobs when the MAC produced its first shortage occupation list in 2008.

`The combined impact of these recommendations plus those made by the MAC last month will be that the proportion of jobs in the UK labour market at a skill level eligible for Tier 2 will fall from 56 per cent to 39 per cent.

The government will respond before 6 April 2011 to the MAC’s recommendations.

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