Skip to main content

Migration Reform (Points-based System)

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

Throughout this year, the Government have been delivering the biggest shake-up of the immigration system for a generation. We are delivering a stronger border that maximises the use of new technology, a selective Australian-style points system to control migration and a clear expectation that newcomers earn the right to stay.

Already this year, we have made sweeping changes to our border protection, including checking fingerprints before we issue a visa, screening all travellers against watch-lists and introducing a single border force with police-like powers. Last week we laid immigration rules making a number of changes, including to implement the skilled and temporary worker tiers of the points-based system (PBS), simplify the route for business visitors, and to increase the minimum age for obtaining a marriage visa from 18 to 21.

The Government are making an unprecedented investment in skills and training to ensure that UK residents do not lose out to overseas workers or see jobs go abroad because of a lack of skills. We have recently made a number of funding agreements with employers, worth £630 million over three years, to give them greater access to flexible, bespoke training aimed at tackling skills shortages in their sectors. These agreements cover sectors such as catering and hospitality, the nuclear industry and construction.

A fundamental part of the skilled worker tier of the points-based system is the shortage occupation lists, for the United Kingdom and Scotland. These are skilled occupations where the Government consider there are shortages so that it is sensible for vacancies to be filled by migrant workers from outside the European economic area. Migrant workers seeking to come to work in the UK score points if they are applying to work in one of these occupations.

In setting these lists, I have carefully considered the advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which reported to Government on this matter in September. I am very grateful to the MAC for their independent advice. The lists are shown below.

Government-approved UK Shortage Occupation list for Tier 2 of the Points-based System – November 2008

Related Occupation Title and SOC Code (see notes 1 and 2)

Job Titles Included on the Shortage Occupation List

Other Information: Skills Levels and Review Timescales (see note 3)

Managers in construction (1122)

ONLY the following job title within this occupation: project manager for property development and construction (see ‘Other information’).

The individual must lead on a project or combination of projects that would amount to a large financial responsibility (at least several million pounds). See Chapter 9 of the MAC report “Skills, Shortage, Sensible” for further details.

Civil engineers (2121)

ALL job titles within this occupation, including the following: public health engineer, rail engineer, drainage engineer, structural engineer, water engineer, geotechnical engineer, geotechnical design engineer, geotechnical specialist, tunnelling engineer, marine engineer, mining engineer, mining geotechnical engineer, petroleum engineer.

Physicists, geologists and meteorologists (2113)

ONLY the following job titles within this occupation: geologist, geological engineer, hydrogeologist, geophysical specialist, geological advisor, geological analyst, geological associate, geophysicist, geoscientist, geosupport engineer, contaminated land engineer, geo-environmental engineer, reservoir panel engineer, rock mechanics engineer, soil mechanics engineer, geomechanics engineer, landfill engineer, contaminated land specialist, geoenvironmentalist.

Chemical engineers (2125)

ALL job titles within this occupation, including the following: chemical engineer, petrophysicist.

Medical practitioners (2211) and Dental practitioners (2215)

ONLY the following job titles within these occupations: consultants in the field of psychiatry; consultants with the following job titles only: anaesthetics and intensive care, chemical pathology, clinical neurophysiology, clinical oncology, dermatology, genito-urinary medicine, haematology, immunology, neurology, occupational medicine, oral and maxillo-facial surgery, orthodontics, paediatrics, paediatric dentistry, plastic surgery, renal medicine.

MAC to review evidence by March 2009.

Veterinarians (2216)

ONLY the following job title within this occupation: veterinary surgeon (see ‘Other information’).

The individual must be registered as a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to work in the UK.

Biological scientists and biochemists (2112), Psychologists (2212), Pharmacists/pharmacologists (2213), Medical radiographers (3214), Pharmaceutical dispensers (3217), Medical and dental technicians (3218), Occupational therapists (3222), Speech and language therapists (3223) and Therapists n.e.c. (3229)

ONLY the following job titles within these occupations: audiological scientist (within 2112); band 6 and above biomedical scientist (within 2112); state registered scientist in cytogenetics (within 2112); clinical psychologist (within 2212); pharmacist (within 2213); ultrasonographer (within 3214); HPC registered radiographer (within 3214); pharmacy technician (within 3217); audiologist (within 3218); occupational therapist engaged at band 7 or 8 of the Agenda for Change scale or their independent sector equivalents (within 3222); speech and language therapist employed or engaged at band 7 or 8 or their independent sector equivalents (within 3223); orthopist (within 3229); and band 7 dietician (within 3229).

MAC to review evidence by March 2009.

Secondary education teaching professionals (2314)

ONLY the following job title within this occupation: secondary education teacher within the subjects of maths and science.

MAC to review evidence by March 2009.

Quantity surveyors (2433)

ALL job titles within this occupation

Nurses (3211)

ONLY the following job titles within this occupation: registered nurse employed or engaged at band 7 or 8 of the Agenda for Change scale or their independent sector equivalents; registered nurse at band 5 or above employed or engaged in the following specialties: operating theatre nurse, anaesthetic nurse, operating department practitioner, scrub nurse, theatre nurse, critical care (nurses working in critical units with a level 2 or 3 classification).

MAC to review evidence by March 2009.

Engineering technicians (3113)

ONLY the following job title within this occupation: aircraft component manufacturing engineer.

Dancers and choreographers (3414)

ONLY the following job title within this occupation: skilled ballet dancer (see ‘Other information’).

For this job to be skilled, dancers must reach the standard required by internationally recognised UK ballet companies (for example, Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet).

Ship and hovercraft officers (3513)

ALL job titles within this occupation (see ‘Other information’).

The individual must hold a Certificate of Equivalent Competency from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, indicating qualification to a level equivalent to Officer of the Watch certification or above.

Pipe fitters (5216)

ONLY the following job title within this occupation: high integrity pipe welder (see ‘Other information’).

The individual must have three or more years’ documented evidence of related on-the-job experience.

Lines repairers and cable jointers (5243)

ONLY the following job title within this occupation: electricity transmission overhead linesworker.

Chefs, cooks (5434)

ONLY the following job title within this occupation: skilled chef (see ‘Other information’).

‘Skilled’ requires that the individual is earning at least £8.10 per hour after deductions for accommodation, meals, etc.

MAC to review evidence by March 2009.

Care assistants and home carers (6115)

ONLY the following job title within this occupation: skilled senior care worker (see ‘Other information’).

‘Skilled’ requires that the individual is earning at least £8.80 per hour after deductions for accommodation, meals, etc. OR there is a requirement for senior care workers to be qualified at National Qualifications Framework level 3 or above (currently only the case in Scotland and Wales) MAC to review evidence by March 2009.

Animal care occupations n.e.c. (6139)

ONLY the following job title within this occupation: skilled work rider (see ‘Other information’).

There must be documentary evidence that the individual has three or more years’ paid experience in this job, at a level equivalent to NVQ level 3, for this job to be skilled. See Chapter 9 of MAC report for further details of job responsibilities. The individual must also be licensed by the British Horseracing Authority.

Fishing and agriculture related occupations n.e.c. (9119)

ONLY the following job title within this occupation: skilled sheep shearer (see ‘Other information’).

The individual must hold the British Wool Marketing Board bronze medal (or equivalent) or above and there must be documentary evidence that the individual has worked at this level for three years for the job to be skilled.

Social Workers (2442)

ALL job titles within this occupation.

MAC to review evidence by March 2009.

Notes:

(1) n.e.c. indicates an occupation that includes job titles not elsewhere classified in the SOC2000.

(2) For official job descriptions relating to four-digit occupations in the SOC2000, see: www.statistics.gov.uk/methods_quality/ns_sec/downloads/SOC2000_Vol1_V5.pdf

(3) Timings are indicative. The MAC may review any occupation at any time.

Government-approved Scotland Shortage Occupation list for Tier 2 of the Points-based System – November 2008

Related occupation title and SOC code (see notes 1 and 2)

Job titles included on the shortage occupation list

Other information: skills levels and review timescales (see note 3)

N/A

ALL job titles and occupations on the UK shortage list.

See UK list for more details

Food, drink and tobacco process operatives (8111)

ONLY the following job title within this occupation: manual filleters of frozen fish; machine trained operatives and quality controllers in the fish processing industry IN SCOTLAND.

Individual must have three or more years, paid experience in this job for this job to be skilled.

Nurse (3211)

ONLY the following job title within this occupation: nurses in care of the elderly units at bands 5 and above IN SCOTLAND.

MAC to review evidence by March 2009.

Speech and language therapists (3223)

ALL jobs within this occupation IN SCOTLAND

MAC to review evidence by March 2009.

Note:

These timings are indicative. The MAC may review any occupation at any time.