New Migrant worker rules outlined in the UK

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published its first recommended shortage occupation list for the UK and Scotland for use alongside the launch of the new points-based system for immigration. The list comprises of jobs that can be filled by migrant workers of any nationality.

The full recommended UK list includes:

  • consultants and senior nurses in particular healthcare specialists;
  • some engineering occupations, including civil and chemical engineers;
  • quantity surveyors and project managers for property development and construction;
  • secondary school teachers in the subjects of maths and science;
  • skilled chefs;
  • skilled senior care workers;
  • ship and hovercraft officers; and
  • some animal care occupations, including veterinary surgeons.

The Scotland list includes all of the occupations on the UK list, including, senior nurses in care of the elderly, units, speech and language therapists and manual filleters of frozen fish.

Under the new points based system, the skilled workers will need a certificate of sponsorship from a sponsored employer, satisfactory English language requirements, a job offer with potential earnings of £24,000 and enough money to support themselves until their first pay cheque if they want to work in the UK. The new rules are expected to come into force at the end of November 2008 and will make it harder to employ skilled workers from outside the EEA in trades not on the list.

Ministers will study the list before publishing the final version next month. The report is a detailed and comprehensive response by the Committee to the Government's request to provide evidence-based advice on which shortages of skilled labour can sensibly be filled through immigration.

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