Author: Andrew Osborne, Firm: Lewis Silkin LLP

The UK has expanded its list of 'shortage' professions.

From 1 October 2019, the shortage occupation list for Tier 2 skilled workers was significantly expanded to include occupations covering about 2.5 million workers, or about 9% of total employment: up from 180,000 workers, or less than 1% of total employment.

Inclusion on the shortage occupation list makes it easier for an employer to sponsor a migrant as there is no need for resident labour market testing. There is also an exemption from the general minimum salary threshold that normally applies at settlement (permanent residence) stage.

Jobs now covered under the shortage list include Veterinarians, Biological scientists and biochemists, Web designers and Architects. Limitations on existing occupations, such as those in the digital technology arena and skilled chefs have also been relaxed.

Some occupations have been removed from the shortage occupation list: certain job titles under Production managers and directors in mining and energy, IT specialist managers, Aircraft maintenance and related trades and Line repairers and cable jointers.