Job roles on shortage occupation list to be removed
The Prime Minister has announced plans to reduce employers’ reliance on workers from outside of Europe. In a keynote speech, the Prime Minister said he would ask the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review the shortage occupation list again with the aim of removing many of the job roles currently on it. Under the Coalition Government the MAC explored whether a sunset clause of two years should be applied to job roles on the list however the MAC recommended against its implemented. The shortage occupation list currently allows employers wanting to recruit from outside of Europe to do so without having to undertake the Resident Labour Market Test, which requires employers to advertise the vacancy in the UK for a minimum of 28 days first, making it quicker and easier for employers to access the highly skilled workers they need. The government is arguing that too many of the roles on the shortage occupation list have been on there for too long and that those sectors should be taking more proactive action to invest in home-grown talent.
Skills levy on firms that recruit from overseas to be introduced
The Immigration Bill also includes provisions for a new levy to be introduced for those employers from recruiting outside of Europe to then fund UK apprenticeships. It is likely that the levy will apply to Tier 2 General visa and potentially Intra-Company Transfers. It is not clear yet how the levy will be imposed, collated or distributed, however more information will be announced ahead of the publication of a consultation which is due in September this year.
Monthly cap on restricted certificate of sponsorships met
For the first time, the monthly cap on the number of restricted certificates of sponsorship allocated to employers to recruit highly skilled workers from outside of Europe has been met. As a result of the monthly quota being reached, a number of sponsors have had requests refused even for job roles which are paying a significant salary.
Influence the immigration policy agenda
EEF’s policy and representation team is acting on all of the issues above. We will be responding to the MAC review of the shortage occupation list and the skills levy consultation. We will also be talking directly to senior officials at BIS, the Home Office and the MAC to mitigate the negative consequences these announcements will have in advance. It is crucial we have a strong evidence base and therefore are looking for EEF members who would be interested in joining our Immigration Working Group. This Group will play a fundamental role in shaping our policy positions on the above, and wider immigration issue.
If you are interested, please contact Verity O’Keefe, Senior Employment and Skills Policy Adviser at firstname.lastname@example.org