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MAC launches six-week call for evidence on shortage occupations

18 May 2020

Employers have until 24 June 2020 to provide their views on what occupations should be on the shortage occupation lists for UK sponsored skilled migration from 1 January 2021.

On 13 May the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published a call for evidence inviting employers to complete an online form outlining details of what occupations they have difficulty recruiting for and why. In light of the pressures on businesses brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak, the MAC would also like to hear from employers who are unable to respond before the deadline, but can provide details for future research, as well as those who have limited ability to respond but can provide their contact details and some evidence before the deadline.

The MAC’s review is intended to focus mainly on medium-skilled roles at levels 3 to 5 of the Recognised Qualifications Framework (RQF), as these will be eligible for sponsorship under the new system. Roles at RQF 6 or above that appear on the current shortage occupation lists will remain recognised as still being in shortage for the time-being.

Employers should however note that the focus on RQF levels 3 to 5 does not prevent them from submitting evidence relating to lower-skilled roles at RQF levels 1 to 2, or on roles at level 6 or above where they feel there is strong new evidence that these should be included.

A significant limitation of the research is that most of the questions ask for responses to be provided with reference to a recent 12-month period where the employer was operating under normal trading conditions. It therefore does not seek to capture the shortages employers anticipate will appear due to the ending of free movement arrangements from 1 January 2021, or their predictions of what shortages they feel have been created and are likely to remain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is however a general question asking for comments about the occupations in respondents’ organisations and the shortage occupation list. This question can be used by employers to provide details of what occupations they feel are currently in shortage or are highly likely to be in shortage in the future, and the reasons why.

The MAC will incorporate an analysis of the responses received to its call to evidence in the report it is due to deliver to the Government by the end of September 2020.

We will be covering the new system in more detail at our next half-day Immigration Law Academy on 8 & 9 June 2020, if you would like to find out more about what this means for your business. We also offer a range of services to support your business with its immigration needs through our Immigration Solutions for HR. 

If you have any queries about contributing to the call for evidence, please get in touch with a member of the immigration team.

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