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Upcoming Changes to the Shortage Occupation List: Construction Sector

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced measures to tackle immediate labour shortages in the construction industry as part of the Spring Budget 2023.

Prior to the Budget, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) was commissioned on 7 February 2023 to undertake a rapid assessment of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) for the construction and hospitality industries.

While the MAC did not suggest any additions to the SOL in relation to hospitality, five roles were recommended to be added in relation to the construction industry. The government has accepted these recommendations in full.

The following roles are expected to be added to the SOL before the summer recess:

  • 5312 (Bricklayers and masons)
  • 5313 (Roofers, roof tilers and slaters)
  • 5315 (Carpenters and joiners)
  • 5319 (Construction and building trades not elsewhere classified)
  • 5321 (Plasterers)

The addition of these five professions will be advantageous to some licence-holding employers, and businesses in the construction industry. Addition to the shortage occupation list means that employers will benefit from reduced salary thresholds and application fees for these shortage occupation workers.

The MAC will conclude a full review of the SOL later this year and will complete regular reviews in the future, to ensure the immigration system is more agile and responsive to business needs. The success of this endeavour will largely depend on the government’s willingness to adopt recommendations, and only then will businesses see how successfully the government is delivering on its promise to grow the economy.

If you would like to discuss whether your business could benefit from recruitment from the international labour market , please contact the Freeths Immigration Team for further advice.

Author: Megan Moorhouse

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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