Parliamentary and Governmental Questions
On Shortage Occupation List, visas and workers
Written Parliamentary Question (57237) , 9 June 2020
Question by Dr Lisa Cameron MP To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to representations on the (a) merits of onshoring during the Covid-19 pandemic and (b) domestic production of personal protective equipment, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of adding textiles, garment and footwear workers to the Shortage Occupation List.
Answer by Kevin Foster, Home Office The independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) advises the Government on which occupations are deemed in national shortage. We have commissioned the MAC to compile Shortage Occupation Lists covering all occupations encompassed by the new Skilled Worker route, for introduction from January 2021, and to keep the lists under regular review. The MAC has recently issued its call for evidence and we encourage all of those with an interest to contribute.
Stakeholder Questions to DCMS and Home Office, 23 June 2020
Question: “Going rate” in parallel with the general salary threshold to gain 20 points on skilled-worker route. Do salaries in job offers need to comply with both?
Answer: Yes, any reduction in the salary will apply to whichever is salary threshold applies. Salaries must be equal to, or greater than, the “going-rate” for the occupation or the general threshold whichever is higher.
Question: Requirements for new entrants 30% lower than the rate for experienced workers in any occupation. Does it mean 30% off the general salary for new entrants?
Answer: We will reduce the going rate for individual occupations by 30% but apply an overall minimum threshold of £20,480 (20% below the general threshold). This is in line with the lowest salary allowed under tradeable points. Reducing the general threshold by 30% would take it below the National Living Wage in many cases.
Question: Different arrangements for a small number of occupations where the salary threshold will be based on published pay scales. Which are the special arrangements and where they can be found?
Answer: There are 24 occupations skilled at RQF level 3 and above where a national pay scale is used as the source for the “appropriate rate” threshold in Appendix J of the Immigration Rules. They cover healthcare and teaching occupations and do not cover other sectors.
Question: Appendix J of SOC20 still uses SOC2010, and we wonder if/when SOC2020 will be used for the new points-based immigration system. Same for Appendix K on SOL
Answer: The ONS will start publishing data using the SOC2020 hierarchy in 2021. The MAC stands ready to facilitate any transition of Appendix J and K over to the new hierarchy as soon as the required data is available, however the precise timing is a question for government.
Question: There is a dedicated section for Models in Tier 5 Sponsors Route in the Appendix J in the Immigration Rules, but we could not find “Model” occupation in SOC2010, neither on SOC2020. We wonder if they fall under "5449 Other Skilled Trades” or other occupation group?
Answer: The job title “Model” appears in the SOC 2010 coding index (version 7) under the occupation “Actors, Entertainers and Presenters” (3413). The ONS can be approached to provide advice on matching job titles to occupation codes, they also provide an online tool that can be helpful.
Question: "Fashion Stylist" occupation doesn't appear on SOC2010, the closest being “7125 Merchandisers and window dressers” and knowing that Appendix J of the Immigration Rules uses SOC2010. On SOC2020, “Fashion Stylist" appears under “7125 Visual merchandisers and related occupations” which we sense is more related commercial retail and not personal stylist for instance. If Home Office intends to use, depending which SOC further on, it raises an issue, especially if these jobs would be subject to SOL, they will need to belong to a SOC group to start with.
Answer: Please see answer above. We agree that “Fashion stylist” appears in the SOC 2010 coding index (version 7) under “Merchandisers and Window Dressers”.