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Shortage Occupation List 2022

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The UK’s Shortage Occupation List can be a source of much confusion for employers sponsoring visa workers, particularly when hiring under a sponsorship licence for the first time or recruiting for a different type of role.

It is important however for employers, HR professionals and anyone involved in your organisation’s international recruitment to understand the rules and application of the UK’s skills shortage list. Issues or errors when hiring sponsored workers can result in Home Office enforcement, including licence suspensions and curtailed employee visas.

 

What is the UK’s Shortage Occupation List?

The shortage occupation list is detailed in Appendix Skilled Occupations of the UK Immigration Rules. It comprises those roles deemed by the UK Government to be in short supply within the UK resident labour market, with such roles afforded more relaxed eligibility criteria for sponsored work visa applications.

Under the new points-based immigration system, most non-UK resident workers must apply for a visa to come to the UK to work. The primary route is the new Skilled Worker visa, which replaced the Tier 2 (General) visa.

For employers looking to sponsor skilled non-UK resident workers, a number of strict requirements apply in respect of the role being recruited for. To be eligible for the new visa, the worker must attain 70 points, covering attributes such as skills, language and salary requirements.

Where a role is on the Shortage Occupation List, 20 points will be ‘tradeable’ against a salary that is up to 20% below the relevant minimum salary threshold, in most cases £20,480, provided the role is not an occupation subject to national pay scales and that no other reduction applies (such as being a new entrant or having a relevant PhD).

The new system also saw the removal of the Resident Labour Market, which SOL jobs had in any case been exempt from, and the cap on skilled worker visas suspended, meaning the sole benefit of a role featuring on the shortage list is the lower salary threshold.

 

UK Shortage Occupation List 2022

Recommendations for roles to be included on the list are generally made by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) in line with meeting the needs of UK businesses and better reflecting the selective nature of the UK Points Based System and sponsored visa applications. The recommendations may then be accepted by the Government.

In the most recent change to the SOL, from 16 February 2022 care workers and home carers feature on the Shortage Occupation List and for 12 months are eligible for the Health and Care Visa, provided they meet the requirements and have an eligible sponsor. Care workers cannot be sponsored by private households or individuals, other than sole traders sponsoring someone to work for their business.

The SOL is made up of two tables, which also specify the Standard Occupational Classification Code (SOC) for each eligible role.

Table 1: Shortage occupations where applicants for entry clearance or permission to stay may be paid 80% of the going rate for the occupation code:

 

Occupation code Job types included on the shortage occupations list Areas of the UK where there is a shortage Annual salary (80% of going rate)
1181 Health services and public health managers and directors – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £30,720 (£15.15 per hour)
1242 Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £21,360 (£10.53 per hour)
2111 Chemical scientists – only jobs in the nuclear industry Scotland only 80% of going rate: £21,360 (£10.53 per hour)
2112 Biological scientists and biochemists – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £23,760 (£11.72 per hour)
2113 Physical scientists – only the following jobs in the construction-related ground engineering industry:
engineering geologist
hydrogeologist
geophysicist
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £29,200 (£14.40 per hour)
2113 Physical scientists – only 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
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £29,200 (£14.40 per hour)
2114 Social and humanities scientists – only archaeologists England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £20,720 (£10.22 per hour)
2121 Civil engineers – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £28,000 (£13.81 per hour)
2122 Mechanical engineers – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £26,720 (£13.18 per hour)
2123 Electrical engineers – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £29,600 (£14.60 per hour)
2124 Electronics engineers – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £27,760 (£13.69 per hour)
2126 Design and development engineers – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £27,280 (£13.45 per hour)
2127 Production and process engineers – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £26,480 (£13.06 per hour)
2129 Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £26,160 (£12.90 per hour)
2135 IT business analysts, architects and systems designers – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £29,280 (£14.44 per hour)
2136 Programmers and software development professionals – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £26,640 (£13.14 per hour)
2137 Web design and development professionals – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £20,800 (£10.26 per hour)
2139 Information technology and communications professionals not elsewhere classified – only cyber security specialists England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £25,440 (£12.54 per hour)
2216 Veterinarians – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £26,000 (£12.82 per hour)
2425 Actuaries, economists and statisticians – only bio-informaticians and informaticians England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £26,240 (£12.94 per hour)
2431 Architects – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £28,000 (£13.81 per hour)
2461 Quality control and planning engineers – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £24,400 (£12.03 per hour)
3111 Laboratory technicians – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £14,560 (£7.18 per hour)
3411 Artists – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £16,800 (£8.28 per hour)
3414 Dancers and choreographers – only skilled classical ballet dancers or skilled contemporary dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK ballet or contemporary dance companies.
The company must be endorsed as being internationally recognised by a UK industry body such as the Arts Councils (of England, Scotland or Wales).
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £23,840 (£11.76 per hour)
3415 Musicians – only 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 a full member of the Association of British Orchestras.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £22,000 (£10.85 per hour)
3416 Arts officers, producers and directors – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £24,000 (£11.83 per hour)
3421 Graphic designers – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £18,800 (£9.27 per hour)
5215 Welding trades – only high integrity pipe welders, where the job requires 3 or more years’ related on-the-job experience. This experience must not have been gained through illegal working. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £18,240 (£8.99 per hour)
6145 Care workers and home carers – private households or individuals (other than sole traders sponsoring someone to work for their business) cannot sponsor Skilled Worker applicants England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland No going rate – the salary must be at least £20,480 per year or £10.10 per hour
6146 Senior care workers – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 80% of going rate: £13,520 (£6.67 per hour)

 

Table 2: Shortage occupations in eligible health and education occupation codes where going rates are based on national pay scales:

Occupation code Job types included on the shortage occupations list Areas of the UK where there is a shortage
2211 Medical practitioners – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2212 Psychologists – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2213 Pharmacists – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2217 Medical radiographers – all jobs (including radiotherapy practitioners / technologists) England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2219 Health professionals not elsewhere classified – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2221 Physiotherapists – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2222 Occupational therapists – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2223 Speech and language therapists – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2231 Nurses – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2314 Secondary education teaching professionals – only teachers in maths, physics, science (where an element of physics will be taught), computer science and modern foreign languages England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
2314 Secondary education teaching professionals – only teachers in Gaelic Scotland only
2315 Primary and nursery education teaching professionals – only Gaelic medium teachers Scotland only
2442 Social workers – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
3213 Paramedics – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
6141 Nursing auxiliaries and assistants – all jobs England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

 

Do you have a question about the Shortage Occupation List? 

DavidsonMorris specialises in helping employers navigate the UK immigration rules to meet their recruitment needs. The list is subject to frequent change; as roles are removed and added to the list, employers have to ensure they are up to date on the latest status of the list and the impact on recruitment activity.

For advice on the shortage occupation list, its implications on your recruitment processes, visa eligibility, assigning SOC codes or any issue relating to hiring points-based visa workers, contact us.

 

Shortage Occupation List FAQs

What is shortage occupation list?

The UK Government maintains a list of occupations which are deemed to be of short supply in the UK. Employers are allowed to hire and sponsor overseas workers in these roles under more favourable criteria than for roles that are not on the list.

What are the shortage occupations in the UK?

The full list is under Appendix Skilled Occupations. The list is subject to frequent change and employers should ensure they are working to the most up to date version when relying on the SOL to sponsor visa workers.

What is SOL list?

The SOL list is the UK's Shortage Occupation List, which is referred to when sponsoring overseas workers in skilled roles.

The current shortage occupation list can be viewed here. 

Last updated: 16 February 2022

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