The UK government recently updated the shortage occupation list (SOL) for Tier 2 skilled workers which covered about 2.5 million workers or about 9% of the total employment. The earlier list covered only 180,000 workers which were only 1% of the total employment.
The expansion of the shortage occupation list will be beneficial to UK employers. This post will explore more of this aspect.
The shortage list now includes professions architects, web designers, veterinarians etc. Some limitations on certain existing occupations have now been relaxed. Certain occupations such as production managers in mining, IT specialists etc. have been removed.
For a role that is in the shortage occupation list employers are exempted from conducting the Resident Labor Market Test (RLMT) advertisement process before proceeding with a Tier 2 application. They can give priority to roles in the shortage occupation list.
With the expansion of the list of occupations in the SOL, the definition of specialized roles has now changed. For instance, when the list earlier mentioned mechanical engineers, they figured on the list only if they belonged to the oil and gas industry.
After the changes in SOL, mention of mechanical engineers now includes mechanical engineers in all industries. This applies to other occupations like vets and architects. The expansion of the list has increased the coverage of occupations by 9% as mentioned earlier.
Benefits to employers:
The expansion of the shortage occupation list will make it easier for employers to sponsor migrants without the need for a resident labor market testing. They will also be exempted from the general minimum salary requirements that is applicable at the permanent residence stage.
The expansion of the list will prove beneficial to employers in sectors like healthcare, engineering and IT who are struggling to fill open positions.
If employers want to make the best use of the updated SOL, they must regularly check the occupations that appear in the list especially because some roles have now been removed from the list. But luckily employers need not carry out the RLMT before they apply for the restricted certificate of sponsorship.
The expansion of the Tier 2 SOL will give employers in Britain access to a larger pool of international workers. The inclusion of new occupations to the list will mean better opportunities for international workers in these areas looking for opportunities in the country. They will get priority for a Tier 2 visa over applicants in professions that do not feature in the SOL.
Employers can now place advertisements for job vacancies inviting workers of all nationalities for any open position. This expands their access to eligible candidates so that they can recruit employees who meet their requirements.
The inclusion of new occupations to the SOL will prove beneficial to UK employers looking for international talent. The impact of these changes is expected to improve the UK labor market both for employers and international job seekers.