The Benefits of Hiring International Candidates for Shortage Occupations

The UK’s Shortage Occupation List (SOL) was amended on 6 October 2019 to include a number of new occupations.

UK Restaurant Owners & culinary companies will also welcome these changes given they can now hire skilled chefs (SOC code 5434) into their kitchens even if their business is providing a takeaway service. Other key occupations added to the list include all civil engineering roles (SOC code 2121) and architects (SOC code 2431).

The list also now includes a number of new (or expanded) Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes including the following widely used digital and IT occupations:

  • All IT business analysts, architects and system designer roles SOC code 2135
  • All programme and software development roles SOC code 2136
  • All web design and development professional roles SOC code 2137
  • Cyber security specialists classified under SOC code 2139

Companies seeking to sponsor a non-EEA national into a ‘shortage’ role, will find the Tier 2 rules are a lot less stringent. Namely:

  • Exemption from the Resident Labour Market Test (‘RLMT’)– The ‘shortage’ vacancy does not need to be advertised by your organisation.
  • Exception on attaining salary level– A ‘shortage’ worker is not obliged to meet the minimum earnings threshold when applying for Permanent Residence.
  • Lower costs– The government applies reduced Tier 2 application fees in relation to those occupations listed on the shortage list.
  • Priority allocation– Roles on the shortage occupation list are awarded priority allocation when the ‘cap’ on the monthly allocation of certificates of sponsorship is reached.

This mean international students & professionals who are applying to work in the UK, have a much higher chance in being sponsored for a SOL job due to the above benefits.