The Government announced on 14th March 2011 that it will remove 8 occupations from the Points Based System’s Shortage Occupation List in order to comply with the new requirements for all Tier 2 occupations to be skilled to at least National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 4. Positions below this level will no longer be considered highly skilled enough to qualify for Tier 2 whether the position is in the Shortage Occupation List or not.

This requirement will apply to all Tier 2 (General) applications from 6th April 2011, except for extensions from Tier 2 and Work Permits where the role is unchanged. I.e. individuals who already have a Tier 2 or Work Permit visa for a role on the ‘old’ shortage occupation list will still be able to extend their visas, even where the role has now been removed.

The occupations that will be removed will include skilled senior care workers as well as certain chef positions.

If an occupation is on the Shortage Occupation List, the likelihood of a request for a ‘restricted’ Certificate of Sponsorship for this position being successful is much higher than for an occupation not on the Shortage Occupation List. This is due to the way the UK Border Agency will now prioritise restricted Certificate of Sponsorship requests. The fact that a position is on the Shortage Occupation List also means that the company is not required to meet the residential Labour Market test for the position.

The full list of occupations to be removed from the Shortage Occupation List is as follows:

  • High integrity pipe welder;
  • Skilled meat boner;
  • Skilled meat trimmer;
  • Airframe fitter;
  • Site supervisor within electricity transmission of distribution industry;
  • Skilled work rider;
  • Skilled sheep shearer;
  • Skilled senior care worker.

Please note that the removal of the skilled senior care worker role will not affect those seeking sponsorship as care home managers or nurses working in care homes. These are separate roles which are considered to be skilled to NQF level 4.

Additionally, some job titles are subject to amendment. Chef jobs on the list will be restricted to those requiring a minimum of 5 years experience at the same or higher status, and paying at least £28,260 per year (after deductions for meals and accommodation). The position must not be in a fast food outlet or an establishment which provides take-away services, or where ‘standard fare’ is served (where dishes are not prepared from fresh/raw ingredients). The position itself must also be one of the following:

  • Executive chef (limited to one per establishment)
  • Head chef (limited to one per establishment)
  • Sous chef (limited to one for every four kitchen staff per establishment)
  • Specialist chef (limited to one per speciality per establishment)

For advice and information on whether a role will be considered for Tier 2 under the Shortage Occupation List, click here to contact us.