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UK: Government calls for evidence into labour shortages

In June 2018, the Government commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to carry out a full review of the composition of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) – they want businesses to respond that are finding it difficult to fill certain job roles, so broader than just seasonal or temporary labour.

Within the ‘call for evidence’ document, it explains that there is the opportunity to submit responses at all skill levels, not just for higher skilled positions: “The MAC considers it worthwhile to get a better understanding of the scale of potential shortages across the whole of the UK labour market and at all skill levels. The MAC is therefore inviting evidence from all occupations and job titles at RQF 1 and above to ascertain what national shortages there are within the UK at present. It is possible that we will only end up making recommendations about the current shortage list which comprises of jobs skilled at RQF level 6 and above.”

The SOL comprises of occupations and job titles held to be in shortage either across the UK, or in Scotland only, where it would be sensible to fill through non-EEA migration. Job titles on the SOL are not required to undertake the Resident Labour Market Test or meet the five-year salary threshold for settlement.

To be eligible for the SOL occupations and job titles must:

  • show demonstrable national shortages that cannot be filled from within the domestic labour market;
  • be skilled to the required level set by the Home Office; 
  • demonstrate that it is sensible to seek to fill vacancies with migrant labour from outside of the EEA.

There are no horticulture / landscape / plant science roles currently covered on the SOL list – so now is your opportunity to flag your concerns.

You can respond to the consultation here. The consultation closes on the 6th January 2019.

For more information
Horticultural Trades Association
Horticulture House
19 High Street
West Berkshire
T: +44 (0)118 930 3132
Fax: +44 (0)118 932 3453
NGGV: +44 (0)118 930 2092

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