The MAC has today published its analysis of graduate-level occupations. The MAC wrote to over 1,000 corporate partners and received approximately 70 written responses including the one submitted by Kingsley Napley. Based on the analysis described in the Report the list of occupations that the MAC considers at NQF4 and therefore “graduate” entry level for Tier 2 can be viewed in Table 3.1. This list includes all the Standard Occupation Codes detailed in our news update dated 24 January 2011.

Table 3.2 lists the occupations that the MAC previously assessed as skilled to NQF3 and above, but which it does not now consider skilled to NQF4. This includes amongst others the following occupations:

  • 3111: Laboratory technicians;
  • 3113: Engineering technicians;
  • 3119: Science and engineering technicians (not elsewhere classified);
  • 3132: IT user support technicians;
  • 3421: Graphic designers;
  • 3441: Sports players;
  • 3442: Sports coaches, instructors and officials; and
  • 3520: Legal associate professionals.

The shorter list of occupations means that Tier 2 applicants will only be able to apply for jobs covering “the most skilled 39 per cent of the labour market rather than the current 56 per cent”. This means that, subject to the Government accepting the MAC’s recommendation in respect of Table 3.1, unless the occupation is listed on this Table, the employer will not be able to sponsor the individual under Tier 2 of the Points Based System. We understand that the graduate-level occupation list will not only apply to Tier 2 (General) but also those being sponsored under Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) category.

The Government will now decide whether and when to accept the MAC’s recommendations, and the timescale for incorporating these into the Immigration Rules of Tier 2 of the Points Based System. We anticipate the revised list of occupations for Tier 2 will come into operation alongside the introduction of the first annual limit on Tier 2 on 6 April 2011.