Vets, orchestral musicians to get affected with proposal
13th September 2011: Accomplished immigrants from outside Europe are expected to be barred from having a further 70,000 jobs. As per the latest revision of Britain’s shortage occupation list, published on Monday these include vets and orchestral musicians.
Twenty-nine occupations are scheduled to be kept out from the latest shortage occupation list. These comprise secondary school biology teachers, consultants in obstetrics and gynaecology, veterinary surgeons and "tutti" or rank and file orchestral musicians, which keeps out the top level of performers.
The suggestion from the migration advisory committee, which is likely to be endorsed by the home secretary, Theresa May, will cut the number of jobs open to highly skilled migrants from outside Europe from 260,000 currently to 190,000.
The proposal to cut the number of skilled jobs open to migrant workers follows recent figures showing a 21 percent rise in net migration to the UK in 2010, to 239,000.
More than 1million jobs were at first open to skilled migrants from outside Europe under tier two of the points-based immigration system, introduced three years ago.
The actual number of tier-two skilled migrants coming to work in shortage occupations has been limited to 20,700 a year, and applications are running at just over half of the limit.
A further 33 occupations are to be added to the shortage list, including 2D/3D video games and film animators, consultants in emergency medicine, environmental scientists, geochemists and managers involved in decommissioning nuclear power stations.
Prof David Metcalf, chairman of the migration advisory committee, said though the amount of the labour market covered by the new optional list is lower than before. He added the recommendation will have only a limited influence on migration volumes because overall migration through tier two is limited.
However, the list is more selective than before: it is targeted specifically on those job titles where there is currently a clear evidence of shortage.
As per The Guardian, the decision to exclude "rank-and-file" orchestral musicians from the shortage list followed evidence from the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) and the Musicians’ Union that the job market in UK orchestras has got worse in the wake of Arts Council and local authority cuts.
The ABO said that only 44 out of 1,200 musicians employed by the 18 orchestras it surveyed in June were non-EU migrants.
But the orchestras also had 91 vacancies for leading or principal musicians leading the MAC to conclude, while there was no shortage among the rank and file, there was still a problem in recruiting skilled orchestral musicians at the highest level.