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MAC Recommends Shortage Occupation List

Since 2013, the Migration Advisory Committee (#MAC) has been asked to review the Shortage Occupation List (#SOL) for Tier 2 migration. With several changes over the years, the current report published on 29 May 2019 provides the most comprehensive review of the list.

What has changed since the last update?

There are six new additions to the current #SOL and around eight occupations that have been removed from the current list.

For the jobs that have been added to the #SOL, employers can breathe a sigh of relief as it means the role is now exempt from Resident Labour Market Test (#RLMT). The hope for finding the right fit for your business has now become smoother.

On the other hand, for individuals whose occupation has now been removed from the #SOL need not panic. Employers are assured that when the new list is implemented (which it will likely do for most #MAC recommendations), their employees need not leave the UK. Extension of their visa will continue to be possible so long as they do not change employers or reapply for a new role. If they do, then a brand new Tier 2 application will need to be submitted, and the individual must meet the current rules under Tier 2 (General).

The additions

Web design and development professionals (2137) - this code has never featured in the #SOL before. This new addition was evidenced by the fact that there is a real demand for the people working in this field and a shortage of skilled workers fulfilling this role.

Psychologist (2212) - The #MAC indicated that evidence of vacancies in this occupation has been quite high over the years with a real shortage of qualified psychologist to take up these positions.

Veterinarians (2216) - Previously featured in the #SOL from 2008 to 2011. This re-addition of this code is welcoming news.

Occupation Therapists (2222)

Speech and Language Therapists (2223)

Architects (2431) - Perhaps a not so surprising entry to the additions. Architects were ranked 7/105 in the shortage indicator. The overwhelming evidence received from stakeholders the #MAC consulted indicated no less than 62 times that Architects are in shortage in the UK.

The discards

Production managers and directors in mining and energy (1123) - this code, since its addition to SOL in 2014 has rarely been used. According to the #MAC, only a total of 6 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship were issued in 2018.

IT specialist managers (2133) - The #MAC no longer considers this as a real shortage as evidence has shown that recruitment campaigns have been successful locally for these types of role. Furthermore, the #MAC believes that the recruitment rate for such kind of occupation is relatively low.

Environmental Professionals (2142) - The #MAC found that the vacancies for these types of roles are relatively low and very minimal evidence that this position is still in shortage.

Health professionals not elsewhere classified (2219) - This occupation is limited to Neurophysiology healthcare scientist, Neurophysiology practitioner, Nuclear medicine scientist, orthotist and Prosthetist.

Engineering technicians (3113) - The removal of this code does not mean that it's not a real shortage. However, the use of this code under Tier 2 has been extremely low, and the #MAC reasoned that the take up of any vacancies are likely to be local recruit other than from overseas.

Buyers and purchasing officers (3541) - this code only limits to manufacturing engineer

(purchasing) in the aerospace industry.

Aircraft maintenance and related trades (5235) - this code limits to licensed and military certifying engineer/inspector technician.

Line repairers and cable jointers (5249) - overhead linesworker, at Linesman Erector 2 (LE2) level and above, where the pay is at least £32,000 per year


Do note that the new list provided by the #MAC is a recommended list to the Home Office and does not necessarily mean that the Home Office will take it on face value. However, the Home Office will likely take the #MAC's recommendation, as seen in previous recommendations.

Shores & Legal are experienced and expert immigration partners for your business and personal immigration requirements. If you wish to discuss your UK immigration requirements, contact us at +44 (0) 207 097 6778 or

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