The UK’s Shortage Occupation List (SOL) is comprised of those jobs which the government deems to be in short supply in the current labour market. The Home Office therefore considers that migrant workers can be permitted to fill key roles where there aren’t enough adequately skilled UK workers in the candidate pool.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) advises the government on which occupations are suitable for the SOL, and immigration rules are drawn up accordingly. The latest review took place on the 4 March 2021, and the changes came into effect on 6 April. They are mostly related to work and study routes, but some new jobs have been added as well.
The new roles on the SOL are mainly in the healthcare sector. They include nursing auxiliaries and assistants, physiotherapists, senior care workers, pharmacists, and public health managers and directors. Laboratory technicians have also been added, and skilled chefs have been removed.
As part of the post-Brexit immigration system, a points-based skilled worker route was introduced with effect from 1 January 2021. Most non-UK resident workers must now apply for a visa if they wish to seek employment within the UK. This is known as a Skilled Worker visa.
To be eligible, the candidate must meet strict requirements and attain 70 points, which are acquired through a combination of skills, language ability, and salary. If the role is on the SOL, 20 points can be scored, which would be tradable for a minimum salary reduction.
This is especially welcome in some areas of the care worker sector, where salaries are generally low. A senior care worker could now successfully fill a role under the new rules with a minimum annual salary of £20,440, rather than the higher threshold of £25,600 for occupations not on the SOL.
Agenda Screening can support your right to work checks, as well as all the other necessary pre-employment checks.