shortage occupation list uk

Immigration Salary List

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What is the Immigration Salary List

The UK’s Shortage Occupation List is a list of jobs that are currently in short supply of skilled workers and the government supports immigration options in response to this shortage. The list is regularly reviewed and updated by the UK government to ensure that it reflects the current state of the UK job market.

The UK’s Shortage Occupation List is the official register of jobs where employers are struggling to find suitable candidates within the resident labor market and it is the government’s policy to address these shortages through facilitated recruitment of overseas workers.

The list includes jobs that require specific skills, qualifications, and experience. It  is updated every year to reflect changes in the labor market.

Some of the professions that have historically been included in the shortage occupation list are healthcare professionals (such as doctors, nurses, and pharmacists), engineers (especially those with specialist skills in fields such as civil engineering, structural engineering, and oil and gas), and IT professionals (such as software developers, network engineers, and cybersecurity experts).

To be eligible for the Shortage Occupation List, the job has to be classified as meeting the minimum skills requirement for the Skilled Worker route.

The list is reviewed annually and the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee are taken on board.

The full list is published in the Immigration Rules under Appendix Shortage Occupation List.

The benefits of a job being on the SOL

The main benefits of a job being on the shortage occupation list are as follows:

  • Employers applying for a Skilled worker sponsor licence will find it easier to show the existence of a genuine vacancy;
  • Lower salary threshold under the Skilled Worker route – the employer may pay a migrant worker 20% less than the going rate for the job and the general threshold is also 20% lower;
  • reduced visa fee: for occupations on the Shortage Occupation List, the cost of the visa is approximately 30% less than for a standard Skilled Worker visa;
  • Supplementary work is allowed;
  • Asylum seekers whose claim is under consideration for 12 months can request permission to work in a Shortage Occupation job.

Recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee

In March 2023 Migration Advisory Committee reviewed the current shortage occupation list and made recommendations for the future. It has been recommended that the benefit of a 20% lower pay threshold be removed from shortage occupations where the going rate is above the standard threshold of £25,600.

Lower paid jobs in construction and hospitality industries have been under consideration and some have been recommended for inclusion on the shortage occupation list.

MAC recommendations for jobs in construction

In the construction industry the recommended jobs which are not currently on the shortage occupation list are as follows:

  • Bricklayers and masons (SOC 5312)
  • Roofers, roof tilers and slaters (SOC 5313)
  • Carpenters and joiners (SOC 5315)
  • Plasterers (dry liners but not ceiling fixers) (SOC 5312)
  • Construction and building trades not listed elsewhere (SOC 5319)

These occupations are not currently included in the shortage occupation list but may be included later in 2023 following MAC recommendations and subject to parliamentary approval.

Jobs in the construction industry considered but not recommended for inclusion into the Shortage Occupation List are:

  • Steel erectors
  • Scaffolders, stagers and riggers
  • Road construction operatives
  • Mobile machine drivers and operatives not included elsewhere

MAC recommendations for occupations in hospitality

Despite recognised shortages in the hospitality sector, Migration Advisory Committee did not recommend the addition of any occupations in hospitality to the shortage occupation list.

The jobs considered included:

  • Hotel and accommodation managers and propritors
  • Restaurant and catering establishment managers and proprietors
  • Chefs
  • Catering and bar managers
  • Waiters and waitresses


More evidence has been requested to regrade sommeliers in RQF 3-5 occupations.

It was suggested that occupations graded below RQF level 3, such as waiters and waitresses, bar staff, kitchen and catering assistants and cooks may suitable for Youth Mobility Scheme migrants and international students with permission to work part time during the term. These occupations are also available outside sponsorship for UK graduates and High Potential Individuals.

Shortage Occupation list for health and care professionals

No specific changes have been proposed for health and care professions and the list will continue to include the following job titles:

  • Medical practitioners
  • Psychologists
  • Pharmacists
  • Ophthalmic opticians
  • Medical radiographers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Paramedical practitioners
  • Physiotherapists
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Nurses
  • Nursing auxiliaries and assistants
  • Care workers and home carers
  • Senior care workers


Heath and care professionals only benefit from being included in the shortage occupation list in the context of supplementary employment.

Supplementary employment in shortage occupation professions is allowed for skilled workers sponsored in other SOC codes without additional sponsorship for this supplementary job.

The jobs on the shortage occupation list are also on offer for people waiting for a decision on their application for asylum.

Do you have a question about sponsorship in the Shortage Occupation job?

Kadmos Immigration lawyers have expert knowledge to help you navigate the immigration rules and meet your recruitment needs with confidence that you are fully compliant with the law.

For advice on whether the job description fully corresponds to the relevant SOC code and whether the job benefits from being on the shortage occupation list, book a consultation with one of our immigration experts.

Alternatively, book a free meeting to discuss your needs as a sponsor and check out how we may help.


Last updated on 3 April 2023

Last updated on November 1, 2022

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