Friday, July 19, 2024

UK Announces Work Visa for 5 Occupations on Urgent Basis

In a major amendment, the government of the United Kingdom has made it easier for construction workers to get work visas for the country. The development comes as the government updated its shortage occupation list and made it easier for overseas bricklayers and carpenters to relocate to the kingdom.

The list also includes roofers and plasterers and highlights the occupations in which employers are facing challenges to find workers, especially against the backdrop of recovery after the COVID-19.

According to the details, government advisors on the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) looked at 26 occupations in construction and hospitality, but only five were recommended for inclusion on the shortage occupations list.

Surprisingly, the hospitality sector was not able to make it to the list despite the fact that the sector is also facing a shortage of employees.

The five occupations approved by the committee are:

  • Bricklayers and masons
  • Roofers
  • Roof tilers
  • Slater
  • Carpenters
  • Joiners
  • Construction and building trades
  • Plasterers.

The list has been revised as vacancies have risen strongly in the construction sector as compared to pre-pandemic levels. As far as the figures are concerned, from November 2022 to January 2023, compared with the period before the pandemic, from January to March 2020, vacancies are 72% higher in hospitality and 65% higher in construction.

The committee that proposed the list revision said that the focus of their research was on whether a profession employed more than 0.5% of the workforce in the industry and paid less than the existing general criterion for immigrants, which is set at £26,200.

The committee members also considered the “strategic importance of construction for the UK economy” and how its workforce was likely to change in the next decade, with “demand likely to increase markedly.”

The fact that the hospitality industry did not make the list currently surprises immigration experts, but the committee claimed that total employment in the sector had rebounded since a significant decline during the pandemic and “comfortably” exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

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