Hiring help

Fishing added to shortage occupation list

Fishing will benefit from the change in status

Fishing and seafood businesses will be able to employ more overseas workers at a reduced cost from the summer after the government added them to the shortage occupation list.

It follows recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee and will mean lower fees and salary requirements.

The UK has a thriving seafood sector with exports of salmon – one of the UK’s most important exports – worth around £600 million a year.

Inclusion on the short occupation list (SOL) means jobs qualify at a 20% lower salary threshold (£20,960 instead of £26,200). Applicants also pay lower fees (£479 for a 3-year visa instead of £625). The broader English language requirements of the skilled worker route also apply on the SOL.

The new roles added to the Shortage Occupation List follow the inclusion of five construction-related roles added at the Spring Budget, after the government accepted the independent, evidence-based recommendations of the migration committee.

The government points out that it is not the purpose of the immigration system to provide a source of workers at pay and conditions which are not attractive to resident workers.

It says the changes ensure the points-based system delivers for the UK and works in the best interests of the economy, by prioritising the skills and talent needed and encouraging long-term investment in the domestic workforce. The Shortage Occupation List will remain under review to ensure it reflects the current labour market.

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said: ” We are backing the UK fishing industry with a comprehensive package of support to ensure that they are able to fully benefit from the fish in UK waters. We strongly encourage the sector to engage with this to ensure they can attract the workers they need.

This support forms part of the £100m UK Seafood Fund, to help modernise facilities, train and upskill fishermen, and invest in better scientific research on key fish stocks.



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