A recommendation has been made by a public body that provides immigration advises to the UK government, to include software development and programming jobs on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) to enable foreign skilled tech talents outside the EU to be brought in by employers. When the recently published SOL was reviewed by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), it was suggested that the list should be broadened to include web designing, software development, and programming related roles, to enable the employers to hire people to fill the roles. The expansion was proposed to help cover about 9% of jobs in the labor market in the UK. It consists of tech jobs, architects, health workers, veterinarians as well as others. Also, MAC recommended that conditions that restrict chefs from being recruited through SOL should be removed if a takeaway service is offered at the establishment where they work. According to Professor Alan Manning, the MAC chairman, the Labor market today is different from what was seen during the last published SOL in 2013. There is a low rate of unemployment and also difficulty experienced by employers in filling vacancies; as such, the SOL is due for expansion to cover engineering, health, and information jobs. Once a job is presented vacant on the SOL, there is no need for a resident labor test to be run by the employers in the UK. The resident labor test involves advertising the vacant role for a particular period, and also retain the proof of doing so. This process causes delays; cost, and bureaucracy to migrants hired and also increased compliance risk. Lower wages are paid for roles displayed on SOL, and they are prioritized. As such, the expansion of programming roles could really help startups in the UK in broadening their talents, if the government swiftly implements the recommendations. The Home Office Spokesperson, in response, expressed a grateful appreciation to the MAC for giving a comprehensive report and stated that the report will be considered carefully and responded to when due.
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