The Government has announced that it has accepted all of the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) recommendations following the publication of two reports looking at Graduate Level Jobs and the Shortage Occupation List for Tier 2 General. The recommendations include the removal of 8 skilled occupations from the Shortage Occupation List and the removal of 71 professions from the list of 192 approved jobs under Tier 2 of the points based system. Once the 8 occupations have been removed from Tier 2 the number of jobs available to migrants will be reduced from 500,000 to around 230,000.
The Immigration Minister Damian Green said that ‘These changes to the shortage occupation list will ensure that only skilled workers are coming to the UK through Tier 2 of the points-based system. It will allow firms to bring in people with necessary skills without migrants becoming the first resort to fill a wide range of available jobs. This government is also determined to get people back to work and provide business with the skills they need from the British workforce – reducing the need for migrants at the same time as we reduce their number.’ Mr Green also announced that the Government has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee to review shortages across the entire labour market, with a view to amending the shortage occupation list.
Last month the MAC made recommendations to the Government which meet the objective of raising the skill level of Tier 2 to National Qualifications Framework Level 4 and above (NQF4+). The MAC recommended the removal of jobs including skilled meat boners, high integrity pipe welders and skilled meat trimmers. Professor David Metcalf, the Chair of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) said that ‘Placing limits on migration requires that we are far more selective and ensure only highly skilled migrant workers can come to work in the UK. For instance, only the top 5% of chef jobs will be open to Tier 2 workers under these recommendations as a result of a more stringent earnings threshold.’ The Migration Advisory Committee also said that the number of UK jobs available to Tier 2 migrants via the shortage occupation route has dropped substantially since they were asked to provide recommendations, from 1 million jobs in 2008 to 230,000 jobs today (less than 1% of the labour market total).
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