Six-Week Consultation Period Open for Input on Shortage Occupation List

May 19, 2020 | United Kingdom

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has issued a six-week call for evidence, asking business organizations and employers to share information about what medium-skilled occupations they believe should be added to the UK shortage occupation list (SOL). The SOL already includes highly-skilled occupations, so input on these is not being solicited at this time.

The SOL is a UK-wide list of occupations for which there are not enough UK workers to fill open positions. The Home Secretary has commissioned the MAC, an independent committee, to determine what medium-skilled occupations have a shortage of workers in the UK labor market for potential addition to the SOL. Medium-skilled occupations are those requiring Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) level 3 to 5 qualifications, which are A-level and equivalent. 

The government is working to identify medium-skilled occupations for the SOL in preparation for the new points-based immigration system that will take effect on January 1, 2021. Under the new system, the minimum skill level for work permit sponsorship will be reduced from RQF 6 (positions requiring degrees) to RQF 3. Accordingly, the SOL must include positions at RQF levels 3 to 5. Occupations on the SOL will require lower minimum salaries than those not on the SOL. 

The consultation period will close on June 24, 2020 and the MAC intends to publish a report on its findings in September 2020. Information on how to provide input to the MAC can be found here