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If taken up, new recommendations from the Migrant Advisory Committee would dramatically increase the proportion of jobs in the UK that are filled by migrants on these visas — from 1% to 9%.
The advice comes amid what the committee calls the “increasing difficulty” that employers in the UK are facing when hiring for these kinds of jobs, and following its review of the country’s shortage occupation list.
That list, which was last amended in 2013, outlines the occupations that are both in high demand in the UK and need to be filled “immediately.”
About 2.5 million workers would be put on the shortage occupation list if the government agrees with the committee’s conclusions, which come in a report commissioned by home secretary Sajid Javid.
Those on high-skilled worker visas do not have to meet the ordinary migrant worker requirements, such as salary thresholds, and pay lower fees. Employers also do not have to demonstrate that they were unable to hire a local worker for such a position.
The list currently only affects workers coming from outside the EU. But the committee has suggested that the government should examine the impacts of using the shortage occupation list after Brexit, to bring EU citizens into the country.
The chair of the Migrant Advisory Committee, professor Alan Manning, said that today’s labour market is “very different” to the one reviewed by his committee in 2013.
“Unemployment is lower and employers in various industries are facing difficulties in finding skilled people to fill their vacancies,” he said.
In a statement, the head of people policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, Jane Gratton, welcomed the committee’s conclusions, saying it gives “welcome flexibility to those hiring for new or emerging roles.”
“Expanding the shortage occupation list will help businesses access the skills they need when they can’t recruit locally,” she said.
But she also warned that the ending of freedom of movement after Brexit “will present significant costs and challenges for employers,” and said that current proposals would only “ramp up costs and worsen recruitment difficulties.” yahoo
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