Image: Fisker Forum / FIS
UK adds seafood jobs to Shortage Occupation List
Friday, May 26, 2023, 07:00 (GMT + 9)
As of this summer, occupations related to fishing are to be added to the UK government’s Shortage Occupation List (SOL) following recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee.
A labour crisis has been developing in the UK in recent years, particularly since leaving the EU and the single market put serious pressure in terms of available workforce on a number of industry sectors – of which fishing is one.
Source: Campus Lifestyle
The move by the government relaxes the rigid requirements applied to immigrant labour, as inclusion on the Short Occupation List means jobs qualify at a 20% lower salary threshold (£20,960 -USD 25,926- instead of £26,200 -USD 33,274). Applicants also pay lower fees (£479 -USD 592.5- for a three-year visa instead of £625 -USD 773-). The broader English language requirements of the Skilled Worker route also apply on the SOL.
The new roles added to the Shortage Occupation List follow the inclusion of five construction-related roles added at the Spring Budget, after the government accepted the independent, evidence-based recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said: "Our seafood and fishing sectors are an integral part of the UK’s heritage and make a vital contribution to our food security and economy. They are a mainstay of our coastal communities, creating jobs, shaping infrastructure, and providing nutritious food for domestic and international markets."
To be included on the Shortage Occupation List, a role must not only be skilled and in shortage, it must also be seen as worthwhile for inclusion on the list in the context of alternative solutions to tackling the shortage, other than through immigration.
According to the MMO, it is not the purpose of the immigration system to provide a source of workers at pay and conditions which are not attractive to resident workers.
The Shortage Occupation List will remain under review to ensure it reflects the current labour market.
Photo: UK Government
The Ministry of Immigration described the inclusion of fishing on the Shortage Occupation List as forming ‘part of the £100m (USD 123.9 M) UK Seafood Fund, to help modernise facilities, train and upskill fishermen, and invest in better scientific research on key fish stocks.’
The authorities have pledged to provide guidance through visa and sponsor applications, to ensure sufficient capacity for English language testing, to expedite visa and sponsor applications, and to maintain dedicated points of contact in UK Visas and Immigration for the sector.
Author: Quentin Bates | Fisker Forum | UK Government