Shortage Occupation List

The committee advising the government on the post-Brexit immigration system is recommending adding new creative jobs to the list of occupations where the government will award visas to tackle skills shortages.

Trainee Frank Harper on Early Man © Scott Norris, STUDIOCANAL/BFI 2017

ScreenSkills contributed to the consultation by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) over the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) which currently applies to workers in highly-skilled jobs from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

After Brexit, citizens from the EEA – who currently have freedom of movement without visas - will be treated the same as people from the rest of the world so the SOL will become more important.

The majority of the occupations on the SOL relating to the ‘artistic and creative industries’ are in the film, TV and video games sectors. ScreenSkills joined colleagues in the industry in  arguing for all the screen sector occupations that were on the original list to remain and for some to be added, mainly on the basis of the findings in the first Quarterly ScreenSkills Barometer report in the new Skills Forecasting Service.

We are pleased that the MAC has recommended that all the screen occupations on the list should indeed remain and has also recommended opening up the list to include all jobs that fall within the definition of arts officers, producers and directors; graphic designers; artists; and programmers and software development professionals.

The disappointment was that our request for photographers, audio visual and broadcasting operators to be added to the list was rejected.

There is currently a salary threshold of £30,000 for jobs identified as shortage areas. The government has already indicated it might apply a lower minimum salary to the proposed £30,000 for what are known as Tier Two visas post Brexit.

Overall the review advised there should be a big expansion of jobs on the list to cover 9% of jobs in the labour market compared with approximately 1% currently


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