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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Key UK body review to help hire more Indian professionals

Indian professionals are granted more work visas than those in the rest of the world, latest figures show. The professions recruiting the most Indians are medicine (doctors, nurses) and information technology.

world Updated: May 29, 2019 22:37 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Pedestrians walk past a rainwater puddle reflecting the Houses of Parliament and the Elizabeth Tower, commonly referred to as Big Ben, in London, U.K. Image for representation
Pedestrians walk past a rainwater puddle reflecting the Houses of Parliament and the Elizabeth Tower, commonly referred to as Big Ben, in London, U.K. Image for representation(Bloomberg file photo)
         

A major review of shortage in various professions in the UK published on Wednesday has recommended adding new jobs and expanding others in a list of occupations that allows easier recruitment of Indian and other non-EU professionals.

The influential Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) of the Home Office recommended the inclusion of web designers, architects and veterinarians in the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), which prioritises jobs facing major shortages and allows easier recruitment from outside the EU.

Indian professionals are granted more work visas than those in the rest of the world, latest figures show. The professions recruiting the most Indians are medicine (doctors, nurses) and information technology.

Professions mentioned on the SOL conveys certain advantages – not having to conduct a Resident Labour Market Test, exemption from the £35,000 minimum income threshold for settlement, lower visa fees and priority in the event the cap binds.

Recommendations of the MAC are usually accepted by the government. The review of the list mentions the uncertainty due to Brexit and a high level of concern among British employers about their ability to recruit professionals with the required skills.

MAC also made a recommendation on the recruitment of chefs that is likely to provide some relief to the struggling Indian restaurant industry. Many restaurants have closed to their inability to pay the threshold salary of £29,570 per year after deduction for accommodation, meals, etc.

Other restrictions while hiring a non-EU chef include five or more years relevant experience in a role of at least equivalent status to the one they are entering; and that the job is not in either a fast food outlet, a standard fare outlet, or an establishment which provides a take-away service

Noting shortage of chefs, the MAC recommended the removal of the condition that establishments that offer a take-away service cannot use the list to recruit, which will provide some relief to struggling restaurants.

MAC chair Alan Manning 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, our recommendations are clearly 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”.

First Published: May 29, 2019 22:37 IST

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