It can be difficult to fill tech roles, especially when they call for a specific amount of expertise. Now, the United Kingdom’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has suggested adding more programming and software development jobs to the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).
Today, the MAC published a review of the SOL. By following its recommendation, companies would be able to bring in workers from outside the European Union with greater ease.
TechCrunch reported that the committee’s chair, Professor Alan Manning, wrote in a statement:
“Today’s labour market is very different to the one we reviewed when the last SOL was published in 2013. Unemployment is lower and employers in various industries are facing difficulties in finding skilled people to fill their vacancies. That is why we have recommended expanding the SOL to cover a range of occupations in health, information and engineering fields.”
Specifically, the report found that the UK is lacking veterinarians, web designers, and architects. If the MAC’s recommendations are put into place, the SOL would cover nine percent of jobs in the labor market, compared to its current one percent, according to About Manchester.
The importance of including roles on the shortage list essentially boils down to “fast-tracking” people through the immigration system, as TechCrunch reported.
However, the UK is planning to leave the European Union and the, the government has already suggested plans to use a single points-based immigration system “ending free movement” that would take effect in 2021.
If that happens, the MAC’s current recommendations wouldn’t apply.
“Our recommendations are clearly only applicable under the current immigration system, while EU free movement remains,” Manning wrote, according to TechCrunch. “We are recommending a full review of the SOL once there is a clearer picture of what the future immigration system will look like.”
The UK is in an awkward position. The MAC’s recommendations can provide some temporary relief, but nobody knows for sure what immigration will look like post-Brexit.