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MAC completes review of the UK Shortage Occupation List

MAC completes review of the UK Shortage Occupation List

5 Oct 2020

The Migration Advisory Committee has completed its review of the Shortage Occupation List which had the potential to include RQF3-5 occupations which became eligible under the Skilled Worker Route.

MAC took evidence of shortages for specific roles requiring skills at A level and above and assessed the impact of filling roles with migrant workers on the UK labour market and economy.

The Committee has recommended that some 20 new occupations be added on the UK-wide SOL, as well as some roles specifically to the devolved nations’ individual Shortage Occupation Lists. For Northern Ireland alone this means job roles under code 5112 (horticultural trades) where they meet the salary threshold required under the SOL.

An annual review of the SOL is also recommended in future. The next review will take place in autumn 2021.

The MAC recognised the difficulties for businesses to respond to the consultation in the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainties created by changes in the UK Immigration Policy for 2021.

The MAC commented that the argument for immigration will be a less appropriate response to shortages given the project unemployment levels. However, it stated that where there may be exceptions, such as seasonal workers, it is for the Home Office to consider alternative routes to facilitate entry to the UK.

FPC is lobbying with others for the Home Office to consider the special circumstances of the UK food and drink sectors. We believe that all skilled key workers should be eligible for the Shortage Occupation List, including RQF Level 2 roles. We will share with members our next stage of lobbying shortly.