MAC Reviews Shortage Occupation Lists
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published a report on a partial review of the shortage occupation lists for the UK and for Scotland.
The report highlights that allowing small digital technology firms to expand by bringing in experienced staff will be of benefit to the UK’s digital sector. The MAC is therefore recommending that a small number of senior jobs in digital technology, limited to people with five years’ or more experience, should be added to the shortage occupation list.
The MAC, which offers independent, evidence-based advice to the Government on migration issues, was commissioned in September 2014 to carry out a partial review of the list.
The review focused on graduate jobs in the digital technology and health sectors, and overhead lines workers in the electricity supply industry.
GPs were considered for inclusion, but the MAC found that there are enough medical students in the UK and the Department of Health is already considering options to incentivise the role. In the meantime, GPs can be brought to the UK via other immigration routes.
Nurses are not recommended for inclusion as the MAC did not find evidence of a national shortage.
However, it is proposed that paramedics are added for the first time, as the MAC found there are no other short-term solutions to ease the pressure on the existing workforce across the UK.
“Our extensive consultation with the digital technology sector revealed that smaller companies are struggling to compete with large firms when it comes to employing the most experienced and specialist staff to help grow their business,” explained Chair of the MAC, Professor Sir David Metcalf CBE.
“Companies told us there was a lack of UK experience in a variety of jobs, and that they were keen to bring in staff from outside the EEA to take up these roles and train UK staff,” he added. “This would benefit these companies in future, and enable them to employ the brightest and best for the role.”
In total, the MAC has recommended that ten jobs are added to the list. In addition, it has recommended that a number of jobs in the health service be removed from the list, including haematology consultants; non-consultant non-training roles in anaesthetics; and therapeutic radiographers.
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