The UK's seafood sector, known for its high-quality exports such as salmon and Cornish sardines, plays a crucial role in the country's economy. To ensure that the fishing industry can continue to access the talent it needs from overseas, several fishing jobs are being added to the Shortage Occupation List.
What is the Shortage Occupation List (SOL)?
The Shortage Occupation List (SOL) is a list of occupations in the United Kingdom that are deemed to have a shortage of skilled workers. It is created and regularly reviewed by the UK government based on the advice and recommendations of the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
When an occupation is included on the Shortage Occupation List, it provides certain benefits and exemptions for both employers and prospective employees. These benefits include a lower salary threshold for visa applications, reduced Skilled Worker visa fees, and streamlined immigration processes.
By lowering the barriers to entry for skilled workers in shortage occupations, the government aims to facilitate the recruitment of skilled workers from outside the UK to fill gaps in key sectors.
New Immigration Requirements for the Fishing Industry
Starting this summer, employers and prospective employees in the seafood sector will be able to benefit from lower salary requirements and lower application fees when recruiting share fishermen, trawler skippers, and experienced deckhands on large fishing vessels from overseas.
These jobs will qualify at a 20% lower salary threshold, requiring a salary of £20,960 instead of the previous £26,200.
Additionally, applicants will benefit from reduced fees for a 3-year visa, now costing £479 instead of £625.
Employers and prospective employees should note that the Shortage Occupation List still incorporates the broader English language requirements of the Skilled Worker route, ensuring language proficiency.
Evidence-Based Approach and Review Process
The decision to add these fishing roles to the Shortage Occupation List is based on independent, evidence-based recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
For a role to be included on the list, it must meet certain criteria: being skilled, in shortage, and logical to include considering alternative solutions to addressing the shortage.
Benefits and Implementation
The new measures are set to be implemented ahead of the summer fishing season, offering immediate potential benefits to share fishermen, trawler skippers, and experienced deckhands.
By reducing financial requirements and promoting access to skilled workers, it is hoped that the fishing industry will be better equipped to thrive and maintain its position as a key player in the UK's economy.
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