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70 new job types being added to Shortage Occupation List
Credit: Daniel Wiadro on Unsplash

70 new job types being added to Shortage Occupation List

Under the government’s new Points-Based Immigration System, the minimum salary required to sponsor an overseas worker will be £25,600, unless the worker has a PhD — or is being hired for a role that appears on the Shortage Occupation List. The minimum salary for a shortage job will instead be £20,480. As the Migration Advisory Committee says in its major review of the Shortage Occupation List, published today, this “fundamentally alters the nature of the SOL”. A job being included on the list will mean that employers can sponsor someone for a visa at a salary up to 20% lower than would otherwise be allowed.

In its last review of the list in May 2019, the Migration Advisory Committee recommended that roles accounting for 9% of UK employment be listed as shortage occupations. This latest review boosts that to 14% (assuming the government accepts the committee’s recommendations, as it is expected to). 70 new job types will be added to either the UK-wide shortage list or to those specific to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They include senior care workers, nursing assistants, butchers, bricklayers and welders.

The table below shows the proposed changes from the current list, with the additions marked up in red text and jobs removed crossed out.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code and description Job titles included on the United Kingdom Shortage Occupation List and further criteria
1181 Health services and public health managers and directors All jobs in this occupation code
1242 Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors All jobs in this occupation code
2112 Biological scientists and biochemists All jobs in this occupation code
2113 Physical Scientists Only the following jobs in this occupation code:

The following jobs in the construction-related ground engineering industry:

• engineering geologist
• hydrogeologist
• geophysicist

The following jobs in the oil and gas industry:

• geophysicist
• geoscientist
• geologist
• geochemist
• technical services manager in the decommissioning and waste areas of the nuclear industry
• senior resource geologist and staff geologist in the mining sector
2114 Social and Humanities’ Scientists Only the following jobs in this occupation code: Archaeologists
2121 Civil engineers All jobs in this occupation code
2122 Mechanical engineers All jobs in this occupation code
2123 Electrical engineers All jobs in this occupation code
2124 Electronics Engineers All jobs in this occupation code
2126 Design and development engineers All jobs in this occupation code
2127 Production and process engineers All jobs in this occupation code
2129 Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified All jobs in this occupation code
2135 IT business analysts, architects and systems designers All jobs in this occupation code
2136 Programmers and software development professionals All jobs in this occupation code
2137 Web design and development professionals All jobs in this occupation code
2139 Information technology and communications professionals not elsewhere classified Only the following job in this occupation code: • Cyber security specialist .
2211 Medical practitioners All jobs in this occupation code
2212 Psychologists All jobs in this occupation code
2213 Pharmacists All jobs in this occupation code
2216 Veterinarians All jobs in this occupation code
2217 Medical Radiographers All jobs in this occupation code
2222 Occupational therapists All jobs in this occupation code
2223 Speech and language therapists All jobs in this occupation code
2231 Nurses All jobs in this occupation code
2314 Secondary education teaching professionals Secondary education teachers in the subjects of maths, physics, science (where an element of physics will be taught), computer science and Mandarin Modern foreign language teachers
2425 Actuaries, economists and statisticians Only the following jobs in this occupation code:

• bio-informatician and informatician
2431 Architects All jobs in this occupation code
2433 Quantity surveyors All jobs in this occupation code
2442 Social workers All jobs in this occupation code
2461 Quality control and planning engineers All jobs in this occupation code
3111 Laboratory Technicians All jobs in this occupation code
3131 IT operations technicians
All jobs in this occupation code
3213 Paramedics All jobs in this occupation code
3411 Artist All jobs in this occupation code
3412 Authors, writers and translators Only the following jobs in this occupation code: • Interpreter
3414 Dancers and choreographers Only the following jobs in this occupation code:

• Skilled classical ballet dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised United Kingdom ballet companies. The company must be endorsed as being internationally recognised by a United Kingdom industry body such as the Arts Councils (of England, Scotland and/or Wales)
• Skilled contemporary dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised United Kingdom contemporary dance companies. The company must be endorsed as being internationally recognised by a United Kingdom industry body such as the Arts Councils (of England, Scotland and/or Wales)
3415 Musicians Only the following jobs in this occupation code:

• skilled orchestral musicians who are leaders, principals, sub-principals or numbered string positions, and who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK orchestras. The orchestra must be endorsed as being internationally recognised by the Association of British Orchestras.
3416 Arts officers, producers and directors All jobs in this occupation code
3421 Graphic designers All jobs in this occupation code
3539 Business and related associate professionals n.e.c. Only the following jobs in this occupation code: • Data analyst • Business Analyst
3565 Inspectors of standards and regulations

Only the following jobs in this occupation code: • Meat Hygiene Inspectors, also known as Official Auxiliaries

5112 Bricklayers and masons

All jobs in this occupation code

5119 Agricultural and fishing trades n.e.c.

Only those jobs in the fishing industry

5212 Moulders, core makers & die casters

All jobs in this occupation code

5215 Welding trades

Only the following job in this occupation code:

• high integrity pipe welder where the job requires three or more years’ related on-the-job experience

All jobs in this occupation code

5223 Metal working production and maintenance fitters

All jobs in this occupation code

5231 Vehicle technicians, mechanics and electricians

All jobs in this occupation code

5241 Electricians and electrical fitters

All jobs in this occupation code

5249 Electrical & electronic trades n.e.c.

Only the following jobs in this occupation code: • Fire alarm technicians • Electronics hardware design engineers

5431 Butchers

All jobs in this occupation code

6131 Veterinary nurses

All jobs in this occupation code

6141 Nursing auxiliaries and assistants

All jobs in this occupation code

6144 Houseparents and residential wardens

All jobs in this occupation code

6146 Senior care workers

All jobs in this occupation code

9119 Fishing and other elementary agricultural occupations n.e.c.

Only the following jobs in this occupation code: • Deckhands on large fishing vessels (9 metres and above) with at least three years full time experience using their skills

5434 Chefs Only the following job in this occupation code:

Skilled chef where:

• the pay is at least £29,570 per year after deductions for accommodation, meals etc; and
• the job requires five or more years relevant experience in a role of at least equivalent status to the one they are entering; and
• the job is not in either a fast food or standard fare outlet; and

The job is in one of the following roles:

• executive chef – limited to one per establishment
• head chef – limited to one per establishment
• sous chef – limited to one for every four kitchen staff per establishment
• specialist chef – limited to one per speciality per establishment

The Scotland-only Shortage Occupation List will look like this:

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code and description Job titles included on the Scotland only Shortage Occupation List and further criteria
2111 Chemical scientists Only the following jobs in this occupation code: • Chemical scientists within the nuclear industry
2127 Production and process engineers Only the following jobs in this occupation code: • Chemical engineers within the nuclear industry
2314 Secondary education teaching professionals Only the following jobs in this occupation code:

• Gaelic Teachers
2315 Primary and nursery education teaching professionals Only the following jobs in this occupation code:

• Gaelic-medium teachers
3234 Housing officers All jobs in this occupation code
6121 Nursery nurses and assistants All jobs in this occupation code
6122 Childminders and related occupations All jobs in this occupation code

Wales gets its own shortage list for the first time, albeit a rather short one:

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code and description Job titles included on the Wales-only Shortage Occupation List and further criteria
2219 Health professionals n.e.c. All jobs in this occupation code

As does Northern Ireland.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code and description Job titles included on the Northern Ireland-only Shortage Occupation List and further criteria
3234 Housing officers All jobs in this occupation code
5112 Horticultural workers All jobs in this occupation code
5432 Bakers and flour confectioners All jobs in this occupation code
5433 Fishmongers and poultry dressers All jobs in this occupation code

There is also good news for vent chicken sexers (look it up) and deckhands working on large fishing vessels (9 metres and above, since you ask). Both these jobs are to be reclassified at the RQF3 skill level, making them eligible for sponsorship. Deckhands with three years’ experience will be on the Shortage Occupation List as well (see table above).

Finally, the committee recommends that in future there should be regular annual updates of the Shortage Occupation List, instead of as and when. It suggests a minor update in 2021 and a more thorough review in 2022.

CJ McKinney

CJ is Free Movement's deputy editor. He's here to make sure that the website is on top of everything that happens in the world of immigration law, whether by writing articles, commissioning them out or considering submissions. When not writing about immigration law, CJ covers wider legal affairs at the website Legal Cheek and on Twitter: follow him @mckinneytweets.

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