The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has today written to the Migration Advisory Committee for their input in a much-needed review into the composition of the current Shortage Occupation List. The existing system is advantageous for UK employers as it exempts them from the need to advertise “shortage” positions through the resident labour market test and ensures that when the Tier 2 (General) cap of 20,700 has been hit, priority is given to these “shortage” applications above other occupations.
The SOL has been untouched since 2013. Mr Javid says in his letter “I am committed to ensuring that the immigration system reflects, so far as is possible, the latest evidence and trends impacting on the domestic labour market”.
The Tier 2 General cap has been hit in recent months mainly due to the need to recruit health professional from overseas; and has continued to be pressured since December 2017 resulting in a number of occupations seeing their applications refused. This has had an impact on doctors working in the NHS and other highly skilled professionals such as engineers across the country.
The current exemption of nurses and doctors from the cap will continue under constant review while the work of the MAC takes place with the hope that the full review will enable the committee to assess which occupations should be given priority within the cap.
The Mac have been asked to report their finding in the Spring of 2019.