The UK’s Home Office has published its updated shortage occupation list for 2022, detailing the jobs which are in short supply in the labour market.
These jobs are afforded more relaxed eligibility criteria for sponsored work visa applications, says specialist immigration legal firm Davidson Morris.
“Under the new points-based immigration system, most non-UK resident workers must apply for a visa to come to the UK to work. The primary route is the new Skilled Worker visa, which replaced the Tier 2 (General) visa,” the firm said.
“For employers looking to sponsor skilled non-UK resident workers, a number of strict requirements apply in respect of the role being recruited for. To be eligible for the new visa, the worker must attain 70 points, covering attributes such as skills, language and salary requirements.”
Where a role is on the Shortage Occupation List, 20 points will be ‘tradeable’ against a salary that is up to 20% below the relevant minimum salary threshold, in most cases £20,480, provided the role is not an occupation subject to national pay scales and that no other reduction applies (such as being a new entrant or having a relevant PhD).
A summarised overview of some of the skills in demand can be found in the table below. The areas of the UK where there is a shortage are England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Irelands, except where otherwise indicated. The complete list can be found on the Home Office’s website here.
|Job types included on the shortage occupations list||Annual salary (80% of going rate)||Per hour|
|Health services and public health managers and directors – all jobs||£30 720||£15.15|
|Electrical engineers – all jobs||£29 600||£14.60|
|IT business analysts, architects and systems designers – all jobs||£29 280||£14.44|
|Physical scientists (engineering geologists, hydrogeologists, geophysicists)||£29 200||£14.40|
|Physical scientists (geophysicist; geoscientist; geologist; geochemist)||£29 200||£14.40|
|Civil engineers – all jobs||£28 000||£13.81|
|Architects – all jobs||£28 000||£13.81|
|Electronics engineers – all jobs||£27 760||£13.69|
|Design and development engineers – all jobs||£27 280||£13.45|
|Mechanical engineers – all jobs||£26 720||£13.18|
|Programmers and software development professionals – all jobs||£26 640||£13.14|
|Production and process engineers – all jobs||£26 480||£13.06|
|Actuaries, economists and statisticians – only bio-informaticians and informaticians||£26 240||£12.94|
|Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified – all jobs||£26 160||£12.90|
|Veterinarians – all jobs||£26 000||£12.82|
|Information technology and communications professionals not elsewhere classified – only cyber security specialists||£25 440||£12.54|
|Quality control and planning engineers – all jobs||£24 400||£12.03|
|Arts officers, producers and directors – all jobs||£24 000||£11.83|
|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.||£23 840||£11.76|
|Biological scientists and biochemists – all jobs||£23 760||£11.72|
|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.||£22 000||£10.85|
|Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors – all jobs||£21 360||£10.53|
|Chemical scientists – only jobs in the nuclear industry*||£21 360*||£10.53*|
|Web design and development professionals – all jobs||£20 800||£10.26|
|Social and humanities scientists – only archaeologists||£20 720||£10.22|
|Care workers and home carers – private households or individuals**||£20 480**||£10.10**|
|Graphic designers – all jobs||£18 800||£9.27|
|Welding trades – only high integrity pipe welders, where the job requires 3 or more years’ related on-the-job experience.||£18 240||£8.99|
|Artists – all jobs||£16 800||£8.28|
|Laboratory technicians – all jobs||£14 560||£7.18|
|Senior care workers – all jobs||£13 520||£6.67|
* Scotland only
** No going rate, minimum must be the value indicated
The updated skills list means the UK Government will also include care workers in the Health and Care Visa route from this year.
The reasoning behind the expansion of the current Health and Care Visa route is to bring relief to the Care Worker industry. The Health and Care Worker industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and faces staff shortages and pressures, says specialist immigration firm Breytenbachs.
“The inclusion of the Care Workers on the Shortage Occupation List will likely stipulate a minimum annual salary of £20,480 for carers to qualify. If they meet this minimum salary, they should be eligible for the UK Health and Care Worker Visa,” the firm said.
“Dependents will most likely be able to apply to accompany the main applicant, and it seems like fast-track processing will be available.”