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Twenty One Occupations Likely in New Shortage List

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  2. Twenty One Occupations Likely in New Shortage List

The occupations represent eight percent of job roles eligible for the Skilled Worker route by employment

The Migration Advisory Committee has recommended 21 occupations be included on the new Immigration Salary List after being asked to carry out a rapid review by the Home Office in January.

The occupations, which include construction workers, laboratory technicians and care workers, represent eight percent of job roles eligible for the Skilled Worker route by employment, according to a Committee statement posted on the website Feb 23. Previously, about 30 percent of job roles eligible for the Skilled Worker route were on the Shortage Occupation List, which the Immigration Salary List will replace.

The review follows several changes that the government announced to the Shortage Occupation List on 4 December 2023 that will come into effect in early April. This includes abolishing the 20 percent `going rate’ discount that employers receive for hiring workers on the Shortage Occupation List.

The government also raised the minimum salary that workers need to earn to qualify for a U.K. Skilled Worker visa to £38,700 from £26,200. It also increased the minimum salary for occupations on the Immigration Salary List to £30,960 or their occupation-specific threshold. This is a substantial step-up from the £20,960 they could be paid with the 20 percent discount.

To aid the National Health Service, the rise in the threshold salary for health and care workers was kept at £29,000. For health and care occupations on the Immigration Salary List the threshold is lower at £23,200 or their occupation-specific threshold.

The Committee, an independent body sponsored by the Home Office that advises the government on migration issues, published a major review of the Shortage Occupation List on 3 October 2023 and said the List should be renamed the Immigration Salary Discount List to correctly reflect its function in its present form.

Foreigners applying for jobs on the Shortage Occupation List are charged lower visa fees and can be paid 80 percent of the job's going rate and still qualify for a work visa. Currently, in most cases foreign nationals must earn at least £26,200 to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, although this can decline to £20,960 if they are taking up a job on the shortage list.

The Committee said it expects to receive a commission for a full review of the Immigration Salary List in the future.

The recommended occupations made by the committee in October 2023 have been maintained. These are:

  • Managers and proprietors in forestry, fishing and related services (Scotland only, only “fishing boat masters”)
  • Laboratory technicians (U.K. wide, must have three or more years’ experience)
  • Pharmaceutical technicians (U.K. wide)
  • Boat and ship builders and repairers (Scotland only)
  • Stonemasons and related trades (U.K. wide)
  • Bricklayers (U.K. wide)
  • Roofers, roof tilers and slaters (U.K. wide)
  • Construction and building trades not elsewhere classified (U.K. wide, only “retrofitters”)
  • Animal care services occupations not elsewhere classified (U.K. wide, only “racing grooms”, “stallion handlers”, “stud grooms”, “stud hands”, “stud handlers” and “work riders”)
  • Care workers and home carers (U.K. wide, private households or individuals (other than sole traders sponsoring someone to work for their business) cannot sponsor skilled worker applicants in non health and care worker eligible jobs)
  • Senior care workers (U.K. wide)

Occupations that have also been recommended for the list due to the increased salary thresholds are:

  • Chemical scientists (Scotland only, only jobs in the nuclear industry)
  • Biological scientists (U.K. wide, all non-health and care worker eligible jobs)
  • Social and humanities scientists (U.K. wide, only archaeologists)
  • Artists (U.K. wide)
  • Dancers and choreographers (U.K. wide, only skilled classical ballet dancers or skilled contemporary dancers who meet the standard required)
  • Musicians (U.K. wide, only skilled orchestral musicians who are leaders, principals, sub-principals or numbered string positions, and who meet the standard required)
  • Arts officers, producers and directors (U.K. wide)
  • Graphic and multimedia designers (U.K. wide)
  • Welding trades (U.K. wide, only high integrity pipe welders, where the job requires 3 or more years related on-the-job experience)
  • Carpenters and joiners (U.K. wide)

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