New Shortage Occupation List Published

The number of jobs available to foreign workers through the shortage occupation route will be reduced, the Government announced today.

The shortage occupation list sets out those jobs for which there are not enough resident workers, and will be used as part of the skilled worker tier (Tier 2) of the Australian-style points system, which will be launched on 27 November.

Tier 2 of the points system will ensure that British jobseekers get the first shot at jobs and only those foreign workers we need will be able to come to the UK.

Recent Government work to ensure British workers are skilled and competitive means that many of the previous gaps in the labour market have been filled. As a result, today’s list is tighter than ever before and will see a reduction of more than 200,000 positions in occupations with shortages that need be filled by migrant workers.

The number of positions available to migrants has been reduced from one million to just under 800,000, ensuring that only those foreign workers we need – and no more – can come here.

To get in under Tier 2 skilled foreign workers must have:

• English language skills;
• prospective earnings of more than £24,000, or slightly less if they have a  decent qualification – or an offer of a job on the shortage list;
• enough money to support themselves for the first month of their stay.

Employers will need to get a sponsor licence to enable them to bring migrant workers into the country from outside the European Economic Area.  They will be checked out by the UK Border Agency and will sign up to certain duties.  This means that Government will share the responsibility for migrant workers with those who benefit from them. The Home Office last week helped businesses to prepare for the changes by publishing detailed guidance on Tiers 2 and 5 (skilled workers and temporary workers respectively) of the system.

The tough points system is just one part of the biggest shake up to immigration and border security in 45 years, along with the fingerprinting of anyone travelling to the UK on a visa and compulsory ID cards for foreign nationals.