The latest proposed additions to the Shortage Occupation List, which sets out those roles which the government deems are particularly difficult to recruit into from the resident labour market, have recently been announced. There are several advantages to a role being on the Shortage Occupation List if an employer wishes to sponsor someone from overseas in one of these roles and also for the overseas national. Advantages include lower visa application fees, permission for the sponsored worker to work a second job if the role is on the Shortage Occupation List and a lower minimum salary threshold in many cases.
Businesses in the construction sector will no doubt therefore be pleased to hear that the roles of bricklayer, roofer, carpenter and joiner, plasterer and construction and building trades not elsewhere classified are all due to be added to the Shortage Occupation List before Parliament breaks for the summer recess.
However, even after lobbying from businesses, disappointingly for the hospitality sector there are no immediate plans for any additional hospitality roles to be added to the Shortage Occupation List. This is despite the fact recruitment remains a major challenge in the sector, especially post Brexit, and around one in 11 roles are vacant.
There is glimmer of hope though as, in the Spring Budget, the government promised it would review the Shortage Occupation List more regularly in the future so as to respond more quickly to the needs of businesses and the economy.