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27 May 2020
Employers have until 24 June 2020 to provide their views on what occupations should be on the shortage occupation lists for UK sponsored skilled migration from 1 January 2021.
On 13 May 2020 the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published a call for evidence inviting employers to complete an online form outlining details of what occupations they have difficulty recruiting for and why. In light of the pressures on businesses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the MAC would also like to hear from employers that are unable to respond before the deadline, but can provide details for future research, as well as those that have limited ability to respond but can provide their contact details and some evidence before the deadline.
The MAC's review is intended to focus mainly on medium-skilled roles at Levels 3 to 5 of the Recognised Qualifications Framework (RQF), as these will be eligible for sponsorship under the new system. Roles at RQF Level 6 or above that appear on the current shortage occupation lists will remain recognised as still being in shortage for the time being.
However, employers should note that the focus on RQF Levels 3 to 5 does not prevent them from submitting evidence relating to lower-skilled roles at RQF Levels 1 to 2 or on roles at RQF Level 6 or above where they feel that there is strong new evidence that these should be included.
A significant limitation of the research is that most of the questions ask for responses to be provided with reference to a recent 12-month period where the employer was operating under normal trading conditions. Therefore, it does not seek to capture the shortages that employers anticipate will appear due to the ending of free movement arrangements from 1 January 2021 or their predictions of what shortages they feel have been created and are likely to remain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, there is a general question asking for comments regarding the occupations in respondents' organisations and the shortage occupation list. This question can be used by employers to provide details of what occupations they feel are currently in shortage or highly likely to be in shortage in the future, and the reasons why.
The MAC will incorporate an analysis of the responses received to its call for evidence in the report that it is due to deliver to the government by the end of September 2020.
For further information on this topic please contact Andrew Osborne or Joanna Hunt at Lewis Silkin by telephone (+44 20 7074 8000) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Lewis Silkin website can be accessed at www.lewissilkin.com.
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