What you should know about UK Shortage Occupations List

The UK Shortage Occupations List is a strict, official list of all the jobs available to migrant workers. The list is prepared by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). MAC adds or removes occupations on the list based on calls from employers and other stakeholders. Enough evidence must be provided for MAC to add or remove occupation from the list. Here’s what you should know about UK Shortage Occupations List if you are an employer, jobseeker or other stakeholder.

Jobs listed on the shortage occupation list

A job is listed on the UK Shortage Occupations List only if there are not enough resident workers available to fill jobs in that particular industry or sector. In this case, employers are not required to carry out the resident labour markets test (RLMT) prior to hiring individuals to fill the jobs on the shortage occupation list.

For example, if you are an employer and you want to recruit someone from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to fill a job that is listed on the shortage occupation list, you may issue a Tier 2 certificate of sponsorship to the individual without having to demonstrate that you have applied the resident labour markets test.

If you want to recruit a worker from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland to fill a job that is NOT on the shortage occupation list, you will be required to apply the resident labour market test first. This will ensure you operate within the law.

UK shortage occupation list updates

The UK shortage occupation list is reviewed and updated regularly by the Home Office Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) as part of an ongoing assessment of skill shortages in the UK. As of January 2013, the most recent call for evidence to support the review of the UK shortage occupation list was announced in September 2012.

Browsing jobs on the list of shortage occupations

If you want to find out which jobs are listed on the latest UK Shortage Occupations List, visit the UK Border Agency's website at ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk.

Alternatively, find out more about the latest jobs on the current list of shortage occupations from websites such as the NHS Employers at nhsemployers.org.

NHS Employers provides useful information and tips on principles that guide overseas recruitment of workers

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