The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has today published its first review of the shortage occupation lists for skilled workers coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
New jobs have been added and the skills threshold changed for care assistants and chefs.
Like other European countries, the UK job vacancies have dropped with unemployment and redundancies rising sharply.
In response to the current economic climate, MAC has suspended quantity surveyors and managers in construction from the shortage occupation lists.
Other key recommended changes:
- only social workers for children and families kept on the list
- all other social workers to be removed
- the skill threshold changed for care assistants and chefs
- new jobs added – orchestral musicians, visual effects and computer animation technicians and contemporary dancers
- additions and removals within some job titles in the healthcare profession
Professor David Metcalf, Chair of the Committee, said:
“The points-based system, including the shortage occupation list, has to operate for the benefit of United Kingdom workers, especially given the current economic climate.
“These latest recommendations take account of the impact of the worldwide recession on the United Kingdom. We have looked critically at the evidence regarding the occupations under review and made recommendations which balance the needs of the UK workforce against those of employers.
“It is important to note that some shortages of skilled labour will still exist in a recession. This can be where there is a long-term structural shortage of skilled workers, where workers provide key public services, or in areas such as culture where the United Kingdom needs to maintain global leadership.”
The MAC has started an urgent review of all of the other occupations currently on the lists, expected to be completed this Autumn.
The Home Office estimates that the jobs and occupations on the MAC’s recommended UK list employ approximately 530,000 people, or around two per cent of the workforce. This figure relates to the number of people (immigrants and non-immigrants) currently working in these occupations and job titles.
The shortage occupation list has three stringent tests:
- the occupation in question must be sufficiently skilled
- there must be a shortage of workers and
- it must be sensible to fill this shortage with workers from outside the EEA
All recommendations made by the MAC are evidence-based and a wide variety of stakeholders are consulted. The MAC will continue to take evidence on all occupations and is open to discussion with interested parties about any aspect of its work.
Commenting on the decision to revise the minimum salary for overseas carers, Martin Green, Chief Executive of ECCA, said:
“Over the last few months we have been working hard to ensure that the MAC understood the implications for the care sector of a pay level of £8.80 for overseas Senior Care Workers. The revision of this figure to £7.80 will offer some help to hard-pressed providers and should enable overseas staff to be employed and contribute to the UK care system”.
The Government will announce in due course whether it accepts the Committee’s recommendations and makes changes to Tier 2.
The previous recommendations were implemented, which should be good news for care workers wishing to change employers and students taking NVQ Health and Social Care courses.
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