The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published a report on 7 February, advising the Government to outlaw 71 job roles for non-EU migrants arriving in the UK under tier 2 of the points based system. The roles, which are no longer categorised as 'skilled' include air traffic controllers, laboratory technicians, estate agents, hotel managers, retail managers and hairdressers.

The report was put together following the Government's announcement in November that it intends to raise the minimum skill level for jobs under tier 2 from National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) level 3 to graduate level. The findings advise that the number of professions eligible for tier 2 should be cut from 192 to 121, with nurses, teaching professionals, civil engineers and investment analysts all qualifying as 'skilled'. The advised changes to the skills shortage list is part of a wider Government review of the immigration system which includes the introduction of the controversial non-EU migrant cap, due to come into force in April 2011.

Commenting on the report, Professor David Metcalf, Chair of MAC, stated: "Skilled foreign workers make a valuable contribution to the British economy but, in the context of limits on migration, it is essential that the immigration system is designed to select those migrants we need the most."

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