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Changes to the national shortage occupational list for work permits

The Home Office today announced that they have added new occupations to the national shortage occupation list for work permits and amended two occupation titles. From 18 July 2008 they will remove certain occupations from the list. Full details of all these changes are shown below.

With immediate effect, the Home Office have added the following occupations to the national shortage occupation list for work permits:

– electricity generation engineers (27 engineering occupations, specific to the electricity generation industry, listed below); and

– high integrity pipe welders.

These changes to the shortage list follow recent research by EUSkills (the Sector Skills Council for Utilities) and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB). The research has been endorsed by the Engineering Sector Advisory Panel.

As a result of these changes, work permit applications for electricity generation engineers and high integrity pipe welders will no longer need to be subject to a full resident labour market test.

The electricity generation engineer occupations relate only to the electricity generating industry. They are:

  • mechanical engineer;
  • senior project mechanical engineer;
  • project mechanical engineer;
  • electrical engineer;
  • senior project electrical engineer;
  • project electrical engineer;
  • senior project civil engineer;
  • project civil engineer;
  • system health engineer (nuclear);
  • design engineer (nuclear);
  • work cycle planner (nuclear);
  • shift or team leader;
  • production controller;
  • plant process engineer;
  • network planners;
  • network design engineers;
  • senior project control and instrumentation engineer;
  • project control and instrumentation engineer;
  • senior project control engineer;
  • central control room supervisor;
  • assistant engineer (shift operations);
  • performance engineer;
  • system infrastructure engineer;
  • assistant chemist;
  • reactor physicist;
  • assistant reactor physicist; and
  • assistant physicist.

With immediate effect, the Home Office have amended the occupation titles for chartered quantity surveyor and pharmacist on the current shortage list to read:

  • quantity surveyor; and
  • pharmacist (including pre-registration pharmacists).

These amendments follow consultation with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the NHS workforce review team.

With effect from 18 July 2008, the Home Office will remove the following occupations from the shortage list:

  • CAA licensed aircraft engineers; and
  • consultant posts in:
    • geriatric medicine; and
    • rehabilitation medicine.

They have stated that they are removing CAA licensed aircraft engineers because there is no supporting labour market research and there is evidence that most applications for aircraft engineers are not submitted under the shortage occupation category.

Consultants in geriatric and rehabilitation medicine are being removed following recent research by the NHS workforce review team.

All work permit applications received for the above posts on or after 18 July 2008 will now be subject to a full resident labour market test. Employers will be required to submit evidence that the posts have been advertised, with full details of people who applied and were interviewed, and why resident workers were not considered suitable.

The Home Office will still issue work permits for these occupations if, following advertising, an employer has found no suitably qualified resident candidate.

The Home Office will publish a revised national shortage occupation list for work permits once these changes have come into effect.