THE UK needs more skilled workers from outside the EU to fill gaps in the labour market, according to an official review for the Home Office.
The report from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) states that psychologists, occupational therapists, vets, archaeologists and web designers are among the professions that needed to be added to the official shortage occupation list (SOL).
Jobs that are on the SOL are effectively allowed to jump the queue for workers from outside the European Economic Area.
According to the review, the list would cover nine per cent of jobs in the labour market, compared to approximately one per cent currently.
The report also states that employers are finding it difficult to fill crucial roles in the UK’s labour market.
“Shortages of labour from falling supply could arise due to increasing retirements or decrease in the desirability of the job compared to alternatives, or, perhaps a fall in the availability of EEA migrants following the EU referendum,” it states.
Professor Alan Manning, who chairs the MAC, said: “Today’s Labour market is very different to the one we reviewed when the last SOL was published in 2013. Unemployment is lower and employers in various industries are facing difficulties in finding skilled people to fill their vacancies.
“That is why we have recommended expanding the SOL to cover a range of occupations in health, information and engineering fields.”
However, he noted that the recommendations are only applicable under the current immigration system, while EU free movement remains.
“We are recommending a full review of the SOL once there is a clearer picture of what the future immigration system will look like,” Professor Manning said.