Migration Advisory Committee seeks views on skills shortages

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), yesterday (Wednesday 13 May 2020), launched a 6-week call for evidence, asking business organisations and employers to share their valuable recruitment experiences as part of a review of the shortage occupation lists.

The responses will provide the Committee with a well-rounded picture of the current migration issues and will support the evidence-based recommendations delivered to the Home Secretary in September 2020.

The government has said that whether an occupation is in shortage will be one of the key factors for which a migrant will be able to score tradeable points under the new points-based immigration system when it is introduced. The Home Secretary has asked the Committee, an independent body, to gather views from businesses on what skills are currently in short supply across the UK labour market.

Interim Chair of the MAC Professor Brian Bell said:

“We appreciate that the coronavirus outbreak has placed businesses in an enormously difficult situation, but their input is vital.

“Any time they can give, or information they can provide will be greatly valued and aid us in providing the government with robust recommendations.

“We must proceed with this Call for Evidence now in order to deliver our report in September 2020 as requested.”

The shortage occupation list is a government compiled list of occupations for which the evidence suggests there are not enough UK workers to fill vacancies. There is also a Scotland specific list in addition to the UK-wide one.

The Home Secretary commissioned the Committee to consider what medium-skill occupations, requiring RQF 3-5 qualifications (A-levels and equivalents), should be added to a UK wide list of occupations in shortage.

The Committee does not intend on asking for evidence for the roles covered on the current lists, which are roles for which a degree or its equivalent is needed (RQF 6), as they plan for these to remain in place at this review.

It is recognised that coronavirus will impact the ability of businesses and employers to respond to the call for evidence and this will be reflected in the final report.