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House of Commons Hansard
Migration Advisory Committee: Shortage Occupation List
26 January 2017
Volume 620
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The independent Migration Advisory Committee has today published its partial review of the shortage occupation list relating to teachers. A copy can be found at: I am grateful to the Committee for its thorough and detailed study.

The Committee has recommended that maths and physics teachers remain on the shortage occupation list; that computer science, Mandarin and science teachers should be added to the list; and that chemistry teachers should be removed from it.

The Government have accepted the Committee’s recommendations in full and the necessary changes will be made to the immigration rules to reflect this.

The Government are committed to reducing net migration to sustainable levels, which means the tens of thousands. That means we need to need to look first to the resident labour market to fill vacancies. The Department for Education is spending over £1.3 billion up to 2020 to attract new teachers into the profession. This includes continuing to offer generous bursaries of up to £30,000 tax free in priority subjects and a £67 million investment in STEM teaching in England to recruit up to 2,500 additional maths and physics teachers, and increase the skills of up to 15,000 existing teachers over the course of this Parliament.

However, we recognise there may be a need to recruit overseas where we continue to have genuine skill shortages or require highly specialist experts. We adjust the shortage occupation list from time to time and in line with the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendations to ensure that, where necessary, labour can be sourced from outside the European economic area.