Government slashes 200,000 migrant worker jobs

The number of jobs available to migrant workers will be slashed by 200,000 later this month, the government announced today.

There will be just 800,000 positions available through the shortage occupation list when Tier 2 of the points-based system is launched – down from 1 million at present.

Tier 2 comes into effect on 27 November, requiring employers to meet strict conditions to bring in workers from outside the European Economic Area.

Firms in sectors on the shortage occupation list will be exempt from many criteria – but only 800,000 positions will be available through this route.

Border and immigration minister Phil Woolas said: “The Australian-style points system is flexible, allowing us to raise or lower the bar according to the needs of business, and taking population trends into account.

“The strict new shortage list means 200,000 fewer jobs are available via the shortage occupation route.”

The government published the shortage occupation list today, adopting the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendations in full, and adding social workers while further evidence is considered.

To get into the UK under Tier 2, skilled foreign workers must have:

  • English language skills
  • Prospective earnings of more than £24,000 (slightly less if they have a good qualification) or an offer of a job on the shortage list
  • Enough money to support themselves for the first month of their stay.

Employers will also need to get a sponsor’s licence to enable them to bring migrant workers into the country from outside the European Economic Area.

The government has asked the Migration Advisory Committee to reconsider whether the following occupations should be on the shortage list:

  • social workers
  • skilled chefs
  • senior care workers
  • qualified town planners
  • teachers.

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