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23 April 2024

Immigration alert: Workers in short supply in UK – salaries on offer

[Image via Shutterstock]

By Shuchita Kapur

If you’ve been thinking of moving to the United Kingdom, this may be your chance.

The country has just updated (last update on February 25, 2016) its list of Shortage Occupations List, which includes roles that are difficult to fill up with the existing workforce in the country and can therefore be taken up by foreigners looking to make a move.

The country’s Codes of Practice also specify the minimum salary that must be paid to professionals that are hired from outside the country to fill these roles.

As per the United Kingdom Shortage Occupations List, production managers and directors in mining and energy; physical scientists, civil, mechanical, electrical and electronics engineers; design and development engineers; production and process engineers are all in short supply in the country.

IT specialist managers; IT business analysts, architects and systems designers; programmers and software development professionals; information technology and communications professionals and environmental professionals have also been put on the list.

Medical professionals are also required in the country with non-consultant, non-training, medical staff posts opening up in certain specialties like emergency medicine, old age psychiatry and paediatrics. Medical radiographers and nurses are also in short supply.

Secondary education teaching professionals; actuaries, economists and statisticians; social workers; quality control and planning engineers; engineering technicians; paramedics; artist; dancers and choreographers; musicians; arts officers, producers and directors; graphic designers; buyers and purchasing officers; welding trades; aircraft maintenance and related trades; line repairers and cable jointers and chefs are all on the list.

The job must be paid the minimum salary rates, which are taken from the Codes of Practice. If a company is sponsoring a migrant worker in a shortage occupation, the job must be for at least 30 hours a week.

A migrant cannot be sponsored for a job with a salary below £20,500, unless they are applying to extend leave granted under Tier 2 (General) or the work permit arrangements under the rules in place before April 6, 2011. This includes cases where they are changing employment.



Minimum appropriate salary rate

Production managers, directors in mining, energy

New entrant: £15,000; experienced: £37,900

Physical scientists

New entrant: £21,000; experienced: £27,000

Civil engineers

New entrant: £21,200; experienced: £28,700

Mechanical engineers

New entrant: £24,000; experienced: £31,200

Electronics engineers

New entrant: £23,800; experienced: £26,400

Design, development engineers

New entrant: £22,600; experienced: £29,900

Production, process engineers

New entrant: £24,000; experienced: £29,900

IT business analysts, architects, systems designers

New entrant: £22,500; experienced: £31,200

Programmers, software development professionals

New entrant: £22,800; experienced: £29,600

Environmental professionals

New entrant: £19,700; experienced: £24,600

Medical practitioners

Speciality doctor: £37,176; consultant £75,249

Engineering technicians

New entrant: £18,500; experienced: £24,500


New entrant: £16,700; experienced: £18,900

Dancers, choreographers

All workers: £16,700


All workers: £16,700

Graphic designers

New entrant: £15,500; experienced: £20,400

Buyers and purchasing officers

New entrant: £16,900; experienced: £21,700

Welding trades

New entrant: £18,000; experienced: £20,100

Aircraft maintenance trades

New entrant: £15,400; experienced: £27,000

Line, repairers, cable jointers

New entrant: £18,600; experienced: £23,600

[Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2013]

Only those specific jobs within the standard occupational classification code can be given away to foreigners where further specified criteria are met.

If you are one of the professionals stated above you will then have to find a qualifying company that can sponsor you.

A qualifying company is one that has obtained permission from the Home Office to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship in respect of the relevant job on the basis that the job is included on the shortage occupation list and it is licensed as a sponsor for the purposes of Tier 2 of the points based system.

At the time of obtaining such permission, the qualifying company should employ between 20 and 250 employees (inclusive), or employs fewer than 20 employees and has provided a letter from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), confirming that UKTI have been working with the company and support the application in relation to its trade or investment activity.

There are some other criteria that also needs to be met to be categorized as a qualifying company. Once you have met such a company make sure that you have references from your past employer(s), detailing the required experience, as these will have to be provided to the Home Office on request.