Another Cull of Migrant Workers

21 Mar 2011

The number of jobs available to migrants is to be reduced, including senior care workers and skilled sheep shearers.

The government is removing 8 occupations from the Shortage Occupation List. At the same time it is removing 71 occupations from the approved list under Tier 2 of the points based system.

The net effect of these changes is likely to be a reduction in the number of jobs available to migrants under the Shortage Occupation List from 500,000 to 230,000. It is also estimated that of the workers on the shortage list admitted to the country last year, 65% would not qualify under the new criteria.

Of most interest to our clients is the removal of senior care workers and skilled sheep shearers from the shortage list.

The National Association of Agricultural Contractors has negotiated a temporary exception for sheep shearers this year. However, the future for Aussie and Kiwi Jackaroos in this country after this year looks bleak. They shear approximately 20% of the nations flock so unless resident replacements can be found, sheep farmers will face significant challenges and uncertainty next year.

The situation for care home owners and operators is equally stark with BBC Wales reporting that some care workers are already being forced to leave because of changes in the Immigration Rules. While this isn’t yet an exodus, the Canadian governments more liberal stance seems likely to attract increasing numbers of migrant care workers to secure their futures, thus increasing the recruitment challenges for UK businesses.