UK Shortage Occupation List

The UK’s Shortage Occupation List can be the source of much confusion for employers, particularly when hiring under a sponsorship licence for the first time or recruiting for a different type of role. It’s important however for employers, HR professionals and anyone involved in your recruitment to understand the rules and application of the Shortage Occupation List. Issues or errors when hiring Tier 2 workers can result in Home Office enforcement, including licence suspensions and curtailed employee visas.

How does the Shortage Occupation List work? 

The list comprises those roles deemed by government to be in short supply within the UK resident labour market. Recommendations for roles to be included are made by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) with a view to meeting the needs of UK businesses and better reflecting the selective nature of the UK Points Based System (PBS) and PBS visa applications.

As such, in order for employers to fill these roles by hiring internationally under the Tier 2 (General) route, roles on the SOL enjoy relaxed immigration criteria, namely:

  1. No Resident Labour Market Test If a role is included on the SOL, it means there are not enough resident workers to fill the available jobs and the employer is not required to evidence that they have tested the market in order to give priority to UK settled workers before they can issue a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship.
  2. Priority in the event of full allocation Where applications for Certificates of Sponsorship exceed those available, roles on the SOL will be given preference.

Key pointers for Tier 2 employers

The Shortage Occupation List is subject to change.

The Government can make changes to the list on the recommendation of the MAC. Changes can include adding, removing or amending roles. So if you are planning to hire a non-EEA national under the Tier 2 (General) visa route, you should check you are working to the most up too date version.

When the MAC produced its first shortage occupation list in 2008, around 1 million jobs benefited from being on the list. Over time, the list has been plundered, with multiple MAC recommendations resulting in the removal of, or stricter eligibility being applied to, existing roles. As a result, the proportion of jobs in the UK labour market at a skill level eligible for Tier 2 has fallen from 56% to 39%.

Remaining Tier 2 eligibility criteria must be met

Beyond the RLMT and priory allocation, all other requirements for the Tier 2 visa are the same as for non-SOL roles, for example the  minimum salary, experience or qualification requirements.

UK Shortage Occupation List 

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code and descriptionJob titles included on the United Kingdom Shortage Occupation List and further criteria
Production managers and directors in mining and energy (1123)Only the following jobs in this occupation code:

The following jobs in the decommissioning and waste management areas of the nuclear industry:

managing director
programme director
site director
The following jobs in the electricity transmission and distribution industry:
project manager
site manager

2113 Physical ScientistsOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

The following jobs in the construction-related ground engineering industry:

engineering geologist
hydrogeologist
geophysicist
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

2121 Civil engineersOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

The following jobs in the construction-related ground engineering industry:

geotechnical engineer
tunnelling engineer

The following jobs in the oil and gas industry:
petroleum engineer
drilling engineer
completions engineer
fluids engineer
reservoir engineer
offshore and subsea engineer
control and instrument engineer
process safety engineer
wells engineer
senior mining engineer in the mining sector

2122 Mechanical engineersOnly the following job in this occupation code:

mechanical engineer in the oil and gas industry

2123 Electrical engineersOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

electrical engineer in the oil and gas industry
The following jobs in the electricity transmission and distribution industry:

power system engineer
control engineer
protection engineer
The following jobs in the aerospace industry:
electrical machine design engineer
power electronics engineer

2124 Electronics EngineersOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

The following jobs in the railway industry:

signalling design manager
signalling design engineer
signalling principles
designer
senior signalling design
checker
signalling design checker
signalling systems
engineer
Specialist electronics engineer in the automotive manufacturing and design industry

2126 Design and development engineersOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

design engineer in the electricity transmission and distribution industry
The following jobs in the automotive design and manufacturing industry:

product development engineer
product design engineer
The following jobs in the electronics system industry:
integrated circuit design engineer
integrated circuit test engineer

2127 Production and process engineersOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

chemical engineer
manufacturing engineer (process planning) in the aerospace industry technical services
representative in the decommissioning and waste areas of the nuclear industry

2129 Engineering professionals not elsewhere classifiedOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

The following jobs in the electricity transmission and distribution industry:

project engineer
proposals engineer
The following jobs in the aerospace industry:
aerothermal engineer
stress engineer
chief of engineering
advance tool and fixturing engineer
The following jobs in the decommissioning and waste management areas of the civil nuclear industry:
operations manager
decommissioning specialist manager
project/planning engineer
radioactive waste manager
radiological protection
advisor
The following jobs in the civil nuclear industry:
nuclear safety case
engineer
mechanical design engineer (pressure vehicles)
piping design engineer
mechanical design engineer (stress)
thermofluids/process engineer

2133 IT specialist managersOnly the following job in this occupation code:

IT product manager employed by a qualifying company, where the job requires a person with a minimum of five years’ relevant experience and demonstrable experience of having led a team.

2135 IT business analysts, architects and systems designersOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

systems engineer in visual effects and 2D/3D computer animation for the film, television or video games sectors

data scientist employed by a qualifying company, where the job requires a person with a minimum of five years’ relevant experience and demonstrable experience of having led a team.

2136 Programmers and software development professionalsOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

Senior developer employed by a qualifying company, where the job requires a person with a minimum of five years’ relevant experience and demonstrable experience of having led a team.

The following jobs in visual effects and 2D/3D computer animation for the film, television or video games sectors:

software developer
shader writer
games designer
The following jobs in the electronics system industry:
driver developer
embedded communications engineer

2139 Information technology and communications professionals not elsewhere classifiedOnly the following job in this occupation code:

Cyber security specialist employed by a qualifying company, where the job requires a person with a minimum of five years’ relevant experience and demonstrable experience of having led a team.

2142 Environmental ProfessionalsOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

the following jobs in the construction-related ground engineering industry:
contaminated land specialist
geoenvironmental specialist
landfill engineer

2211 Medical practitionersOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

Consultants in the following specialities:

clinical radiology
emergency medicine
old age psychiatry
CT3 trainee and ST4 to ST7 trainee in emergency medicine
Core trainee in psychiatry

Non-consultant, non-training, medical staff posts in the following specialities:
emergency medicine (including specialist doctors working in accident and emergency)
old age psychiatry
paediatrics

2217 Medical RadiographersOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

HPC registered diagnostic radiographer
nuclear medicine practitioner
radiotherapy physics practitioner
radiotherapy physics scientist
sonographer
Sponsors must retain evidence of the individual’s HPC registration and provide this to the UK Border Agency on request. (Registration may need to be done after the individual has entered the United Kingdom but must be done before starting work).

2219 Health professionals not elsewhere classifiedOnly the following job in this occupation code:
neurophysiology healthcare scientist
neurophysiology practitioner
Nuclear medicine scientist
orthotist
prosthetist
2231 NursesAll jobs in this occupation code
2314 Secondary education teaching professionalsOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

secondary education teachers in the subjects of maths, physics, science (where an element of physics will be taught), computer science and Mandarin

2425 Actuaries, economists and statisticiansOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:
bio-informatician
informatician
2442 Social workersOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

social worker working in children’s and family services

2461 Quality control and planning engineersOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

The following jobs in the electricity transmission and distribution industry:
planning / development engineer
quality, health, safety and environment (QHSE) engineer

3113 Engineering techniciansOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

The following jobs in the electricity transmission and distribution industry:

commissioning engineer
substation electrical engineer

3213 ParamedicsAll jobs in this occupation code
3411 ArtistOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

Animator in visual effects and 2D/3D computer animation for the film, television or video games sectors

3414 Dancers and choreographersOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

Skilled classical ballet dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised United Kingdom ballet companies (e.g. Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet).

The company must either:
have performed at or been invited to perform at venues of the calibre of the Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells or Barbican, either in the United Kingdom or overseas;
or attract dancers and/or choreographers and other artists from other countries;
or be endorsed as being internationally recognised by a United Kingdom industry body such as the Arts Councils (of England, Scotland and/or Wales)

Skilled contemporary dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised United Kingdom contemporary dance companies (e.g. Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, Scottish Dance Theatre and Rambert Dance Company).

The company must either:
have performed at or been invited to perform at venues of the calibre of Sadler’s Wells, the Southbank Centre or The Place, either in the United Kingdom or overseas;
or attract dancers and/or choreographers and other artists from all over the world; or be endorsed as being internationally recognised by a United Kingdom industry body such as the Arts Councils (of England, Scotland and/or Wales)

3415 MusiciansOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

skilled orchestral musicians who are leaders, principals, sub-principals or numbered string positions, and who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK orchestras (including London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)

3416 Arts officers, producers and directorsOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:
The following jobs in visual effects and 2D/3D computer animation for the film, television or video games sectors:2D supervisor
3D supervisor
computer graphics
supervisor
producer
production manager
technical director
visual effects supervisor
3421 Graphic designersOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:
The following jobs in visual effects and 2D/3D computer animation for the film, television or video games sectors:compositing artist matte painter modeller rigger stereo artist texture artist
3541 Buyers and purchasing officersOnly the following job in this occupation code:

manufacturing engineer
(purchasing) in the aerospace industry

5215 Welding tradesOnly the following job in this occupation code:

high integrity pipe welder where the job requires three or more years’ related on-the-job experience

5235 Aircraft maintenance and related tradesOnly the following jobs in this occupation code:

licensed and military certifying engineer/inspector technician

5249 Line repairers and cable jointersOnly the following job in this occupation code:

overhead linesworker,at Linesman Erector 2 (LE2) level and above, where the pay is at least £32,000 per year

5434 ChefsOnly the following job in this occupation code:

Skilled chef where:

the pay is at least £29,570 per year after deductions for accommodation, meals etc; and
the job requires five or more years relevant experience in a role of at least equivalent status to the one they are entering; and the job is not in either a fast food outlet, a standard fare outlet, or an establishment which provides a take-away service; and

The job is in one of the following roles:

executive chef – limited to one per establishment
head chef – limited to one per establishment
sous chef – limited to one for every four kitchen staff per establishment
specialist chef – limited to one per speciality per establishment

A fast food outlet is one where food is prepared in bulk for speed of service, rather than to individual order.
A standard fare outlet is one where the menu is designed centrally for outlets in a chain / franchise, rather than by a chef or chefs in the individual restaurant. Standard fare outlets also include those where dishes and / or cooking sauces are bought in ready-made, rather than prepared from fresh / raw ingredients.

 

 

Question about the Shortage Occupation List – DavidsonMorris can help!

If you have a question about the Tier 2 visa and hiring under a UK sponsorship licence, speak to our experts today. We have extensive experience of helping employers with all aspects of UK business immigration including handling the intricacies of the Shortage Occupation List and wider pitfalls of employing Tier 2 workers and issuing Certificates of Sponsorship..

By |2018-09-16T23:32:30+00:00September 7th, 2018|0 Comments