Skill, Shortage, Sensible: consultation launched on migration

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the Government’s main independent advisory body on immigration policy, has launched a new consultation (PDF) on the Shortage Occupations List (SOL). The SOL currently includes many science jobs; you can see the full list on the home office website.

The Government has recently asked the MAC whether jobs on the SOL should be removed from the list automatically after two years. We have been approached by Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), a leading independent advocate for science and engineering in the UK, to seek the views of our members. CaSE will argue that two years is much too short a period of time to fix structural problems with our workforce, based on the time it takes to train a new scientist, particularly in the kinds of senior posts on the SOL. In support of this, they are looking for your help in providing specific examples of the effect this change might have on your particular sector and organisation.

As well as this, MAC is reviewing the shortage occupation list and asking for evidence on what further occupations should be included, based on their ‘Skill, Shortage, Sensible’ Criteria:

  • is the individual occupation or job title sufficiently skilled to be included on the list;
  • is there a shortage of labour within each skilled occupation or job title sufficient to merit inclusion or retention on the list;
  • is it sensible for immigrant labour from outside the EEA to be used to fill this shortage.

The consultation closes on 30 November, so please send your responses to James Lush on james.lush@biochemistry.org by 26 November.

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