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Migration Advisory publish new recommended shortage occupations list | Immigration Matters

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 Categories : News


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: 

  1. the occupation in question must be sufficiently skilled
  2. there must be a shortage of workers and
  3. 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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14 Responses to “Migration Advisory publish new recommended shortage occupations list”
Read them below or add one

  1. Hi,

    I am on the PSW visa, previously was on the IGS. My will will expired in the next month. Can you please advise the next step.


  2. You need to see an immigration adviser to assess your case against Tier 2 requirements and find an employer sponsor. You can also self-assess your points on the UK Border Agency website ‘Working in the UK’ section.

  3. hi,im a dependant working as a chef.there is any chance to get a student visa-nvq2 or 3 for working in a nursing home.

  4. I have already done my nvq level 4/higher national diploma in health and social care from city and guilds of london institute, uk.Is there any possibility to get a work-permit in uk or should I do more courses relevent to that inorder to get a work permit?

  5. See UK Border Agency site and MAC recommendations, which have not been implemented yet by the way.

  6. Hi, can i get a copy of requirements for Contemporary Dancer? my friends is willing for this job and she want to see the requirement. this is my email.

  7. It is possible for you to continue studying or apply under tier 1 or possibly 2. You should see an adviser or study the UKB website/rules. You should have your degree assessed and compared to a UK degree by UK NARIC

  8. You should take advice on your case before submitting your forms to the Home Office. Email full detials to

  9. Jeanne Deluna says :

    what are the approval chances in applying for an extension of visas by those students consistently having more than the maximum allowable hours per week even during term time….which i know is the number one requirements to be check by the home office???

  10. imelia Wong says :

    hi im currently in the uk as a student. i finished my health and social care NVQ level 3 this march,2009. I would like to know since i have my qualification adn aside from this I have a degree which i finished in my home country, would I be able to apply on the TIER 1 post study work and what are the requirements?

  11. esperanza tagay says :

    good day, my husband has been applying for his UK visa to work in tier 2 general skilled worker, and his application has been denied, because in the point based system he scored in education 5 points for his bachelors degree in agriculture in pampanga agricultural college, as for now he is applying for his appeal attached the accreditation level of the school regarding the degree, in line with this i would like to ask about the standard in school education he has been into, and by chance could he pass the appeal with the supporting docs he has from the school, the accreditation level three?as far as i know many of the graduates of pampanga agricultural college are already in the united kingdom working.

  12. Luzviminda Criste Bacalla says :

    Please help me find a legal assistant or refer me to an agency who recruits teachers for Australia. I need someone who will help me find a sponsor . I am a retired teacher/school administrator in the Phils.I would like to seek a second career in Melbourne and hopefully to relocate once i get a job. this is my correct email add.

  13. Luzviminda Bacalla says :

    Please refer me to a legitimate, legal agent /agency who is willing to assist me from step one until the end …i want to go through a legal process of how to get a job sponsorship in Australia. I am a retired teacher in the Philippines . I hava paid National Visas Immigration but they simply answered my questions. I need someone who will help me do my papers legally , help me file them,look for my sponsor , etc.. i want to relocate and have a new teaching career in Melbourne.

  14. can u reply what is the minimum hours permitted to work in a week in nvq 4 student(health and social care.

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