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UK Shortage Occupation List

Feb 13, 2024

Sponsoring a worker for a specific job requires employers to follow specific guidelines. Employers must apply for a sponsor licence and ensure that the worker is sponsored for a position in an eligible standard occupational classification (SOC) code listed in the Appendix. You can find the SOC codes in the published Immigration Rules Appendix Skilled Occupations and Appendix Shortage Occupation List.

Understanding the Shortage Occupation List in the UK

The UK Shortage Occupation List contains occupations that lack sufficient skilled labour. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is responsible for recommending which jobs should be added to this list, which is regularly updated.

If a job is listed as a skill shortage role, the full salary threshold is not required. However, the salary must not be less than £20,960 per year, £10.75 per hour, and 80% of the going rate for the occupation code. The going rate is the minimum salary for a specific occupation code.

It's worth noting that if the job is on the Shortage Occupation List, it must be confirmed in the Certificate of Sponsorship. Additionally, the visa application fee for a Skilled Worker Visa is lower if the job is listed on the Shortage Occupation List.

Selecting the Appropriate SOC Code from the Shortage Occupation List

To ensure a worker's visa application is not delayed or refused, it is crucial to choose the most appropriate occupation code possible. Employers can refer to the Office for National Statistics website to review job descriptions, tasks, and entry requirements to gain a better understanding of which SOC code is right for their job. Failure to do so may result in a Home Office compliance visit, announced or unannounced, and the possibility of a suspended sponsor licence, if the Home Office believes that the sponsor has not chosen the correct SOC code or the vacancy is not authentic.

Exploring the UK Shortage Occupation List 2024

If you're looking to find the latest UK Shortage Occupation List, then you can find it here. This list specifies which regions of the country, such as England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, are experiencing labour shortages.

Table 1 is also available, outlining the occupations that are currently experiencing a shortage. If your occupation is listed, you may be eligible to receive 80% of the going rate for your occupation code.

Jobs in Health and Care Shortage Occupation List
1181 Health services and public health managers and directors
1242 Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors
6146 Senior care workers

Jobs in Science/Engineering That Appear in the Shortage Occupation List
2111 Chemical scientists in the nuclear industry
2112 Biological scientists and biochemists
2113 Physical scientists in the construction-related ground engineering industry, limited to engineering geologist’s hydrogeologist geophysicist
2113 Physical scientists in the oil and gas industry, limited to
geochemist technical services manager in the decommissioning and waste areas of the nuclear industry senior resource geologist and staff geologist in the mining sector
2114 Social and humanities scientists, limited to archaeologists.
2121 Civil engineers
2122 Mechanical engineers
2123 Electrical engineers
2124 Electronics engineers
2126 Design and development engineers
2127 Production and process engineers
2129 Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified
2461 Quality control and planning engineers

Jobs in Construction on the Shortage Occupation List
5312 Bricklayers and masons
5313 Roofers, roof tilers and slaters
5315 Carpenters and joiners
5319 Construction and building trades not elsewhere classified
5321 Plasterers (including dryliners)

Jobs in IT listed in the Shortage Occupation List
2135 IT business analysts, architects and systems designers
2136 Programmers and software development professionals
2137 Web design and development professionals
2139 Information technology and communications professionals not elsewhere classified, limited to cyber security specialists

Occupations in Fishing on the Shortage List
5119 Agriculture and fishing trades not elsewhere classified
9119 Fishing and other elementary agriculture occupations not elsewhere classified – only deckhands on large fishing vessels (9 metres and above) where the job requires the worker to have at least 3 years’ full-time experience in using their skills.
Jobs in Professional Services, Medicine and Other Trades on the Shortage Occupation List
2216 Veterinarians
2425 Actuaries, economists and statisticians, limited to
2431 Architects
3111 Laboratory technicians
5215 Welding trades – only high integrity pipe welders, where the job requires 3 or more years’ related on-the-job experience. This experience must not have been gained through working illegally.

Jobs in the Creative Sector Listed on Shortage Occupation List
3411 Artists
3414 Dancers and choreographers – only skilled classical ballet dancers or skilled contemporary dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK ballet or contemporary dance companies.The company must be endorsed as being internationally recognised by a UK industry body such as the Arts Councils (of England, Scotland or Wales).
3415 Musicians – only skilled orchestral musicians who are leaders, principals, sub-principals or numbered string positions, and who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK orchestras.
The orchestra must be a full member of the Association of British Orchestras.
3416 Arts officers, producers and directors
3421 Graphic designers

Table 2 refers to health and education occupations where the going rates are based on national pay scales:

Jobs in Medicine on the Shortage Occupation List
2211 Medical practitioners
2212 Psychologists
2213 Pharmacists
2217 Medical radiographers – including radiotherapy practitioners/ technologists)
2219 Health professionals not elsewhere classified
2232 Nurses
3213 Paramedics
6141 Nursing auxiliaries and assistants
Jobs in Therapy Included in Shortage Occupation List
2221 Physiotherapists
2222 Occupational therapists
2223 Speech and language therapists

Jobs in Education and Professional Services on the Shortage Occupation List
2314 Secondary education teaching professionals – only teachers in maths, physics, science (where an element of physics will be taught), computer science and modern foreign languages
2314 Secondary education teaching professionals – only teachers in Gaelic
2315 Primary and nursery education teaching professionals – only Gaelic medium teachers
2442 Social workers
The occupation code 6145 Care workers and home carers has been added to the Shortage Occupation List and related job titles include Care assistant, Care worker, Carer, Home care assistant, Home carer and Support worker (nursing home). However, private households or individuals (other than sole traders sponsoring someone to work for their business) cannot sponsor Skilled Worker applicants.

Types of Sponsor Licence

To sponsor a worker for a role in the Shortage Occupation List or Appendix Skilled Occupations, the employer will need to have a sponsor licence for the relevant route.

Please contact our immigration advisors to receive expert advice and assistance with your Sponsor Licence or Skilled Worker visa application.

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