This week the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published its review of the Shortage Occupation List. This lists occupations where employers face a shortage of suitable labour and where it is sensible to fill those shortages with migrant workers. Roles on the list will be allocated extra points under the new points-based immigration system, due to come into effect on 1 January 2021.
In this review, the MAC recommended that a number of job roles be added to the list, including nursing auxiliaries and assistants, pharmacists, senior care workers, bricklayers and masons, butchers and welders.
Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), responded:
“As we all know, this is a difficult time for the labour market, and we do not yet know the long-term effect that COVID-19 will have on demand in many sectors and occupations. That being said, we are glad that the Migration Advisory Committee has taken our feedback on board by adding certain roles to the Shortage Occupation List – especially those in nursing and social care – so critical to helping us manage in the pandemic. We have also seen significant growth in job adverts for bricklayers over the past few months, so it’s a good move to have added that role added as well.
“The worry now is that businesses don’t have the clarity, time or money needed to prepare before the new immigration rules come into force. And even now, with unemployment rising, there some roles that firms are finding it hard to recruit for. Some of these are so-called ‘lower-skilled’ jobs that are in short supply but also require training to fill. The points-based system must be able to meet the needs of the economy from 1 January 2021 – it will stand or fall based on this.”