Home Office proposes to slash jobs for skilled migrants by a third
April 29, 2009 by Webmaster
By Tom Whitehead| The Telegraph
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) said 270,000 fewer posts should be on the so-called “shortage list” of jobs, which allows employers to bring in foreign workers without trying to fill them with British staff first.
In the review, construction workers and quantity surveyors were suspended from the list because unemployment among workers in those professions has risen by 500 per cent as a result of the downturn.
Social workers dealing with adults have also been taken off and it will be made harder to bring in care assistants and chefs.
However, orchestral musicians, computer animation specialists and contemporary dancers were added to the list because Britain is not producing enough talented candidates, the report revealed.
The ability to bring in foreign talent is needed to maintain Britain’s “global leadership”, MAC chairman Professor David Metcalf said.
The number of jobs shortage list was cut by a third from 800,000 on the last list and means the total has now dropped by almost half from one million just six months ago.
The figures do not breakdown how many non-EU migrants are employed in such jobs but the cut could affect up to 25,000 foreign workers if the national average is mirrored across the professions.
Prof Metcalf said: “We had to respond to the troubled times and the turmoil in the labour market.
“The main issue that we want to get across is we have responded to the downturn and we have immediately suspended two major occupations.”
There were 4,795 unemployed construction managers in January, compared to 835 a year earlier.
Unemployment among quantity surveyors went from 130 to 730 in the same period.
Prof Metcalf said not all labour market shortages would be eliminated by the recession, which last month pushed unemployment to 2.1 million.
The expert committee, which first reported last year, will complete a full review of all the occupations on its list by September.
It will look closely at seasonal workers such as chefs and engineers.
Maths and science teachers, currently on the list, are also likely to face scrutiny, to see if laid-off financial workers are taking those jobs.
Ministers will look at the list and announce their decision by the middle of next month.
They are likely to accept most, if not all, of the recommendations.