On the 15th February 2013, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published their findings following a review of the Shortage Occupation List, including their view on whether or not a sunset clause should be introduced and considerations relating to the creative sector.
The full report can be viewed here, but we have summarised some key findings as follows:
- The MAC recommended that some occupations be removed from the Shortage Occupation List, including 19 jobs in the health sector.
- It was suggested that the number of engineering jobs on the Shortage List should be increased, with the addition of roles such as Mechanical Design Engineer (stress).
- The MAC found against the proposal for a sunset clause which would mean jobs are automatically removed from the Shortage List after two years. It argued that a four year time period would be more proportionate, with the opportunity to appeal against removal allowed.
- The possibility of a separate route within Tier 2 for creative occupations was discussed. However, the MAC suggested that creative occupations should stay within Tier 2 although for certain specified occupations the usual skills threshold will not apply – these include actors, authors, dancers and choreographers.
The Chairman of the MAC, Professor David Metcalf CBE, said:
‘Overall migration through the Tier 2 visa route is already limited – which means our new reduced shortage occupation list will have only a limited impact on overall migration volumes.
We strongly support the government’s up-skilling agenda which has been very successful in bringing down the number of health jobs on the list. But the increasing demand for specialist engineers continues to outstrip supply.
Our research shows that attempts by employers and public bodies in this industry to address the engineering skills deficit have so far proven inadequate. Therefore, we recommend the government add around 20 new engineering sector job titles to the list this year. Although there are a number of initiatives to help boost science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills, we emphasise the need for greater strategic thinking around delivery of these.”
As Newland Chase made a signifcant contribution to this review, we will be providing further analysis in our blog later this week. However, if you have any queries regarding this news or any other immigration matter in the meantime, please call us on 0207 001 2121.