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The Shortage Occupation List (SOL) allows UK employers to hire overseas staff under more advantageous immigration conditions since its raison d'être is that certain occupations are extremely hard to recruit for from within the UK. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) advises the government on which occupations should be added to this.

Whilst previous Conservative Home Secretaries and Chancellors have taken a much more restrictive approach, thankfully today's budget recognises the needs of the Construction industry which had seriously stifled infra structure and other high value growth projects.

"The government will ensure that the UK labour market has access to skills and talent from abroad where needed. To help ease immediate labour supply pressures..." the Govt has accepted MAC advice that five construction roles which are considered "low skilled" but which are specialist jobs be added to the SOL ahead of its wider SOL review concluding in autumn 2023.

Nuclear builds: The launch of Great British Nuclear is expected to attract the best designs from both domestic and international vendors in competition for Small Modular Reactors.

Business visitor rules will also get a helpful make over...

See budget text below:


3.41 Alongside investments to support people into work, the government will ensure that the UK labour market has access to skills and talent from abroad where needed, to help businesses tackle immediate labour shortages and ease business visits to the UK.

3.42 To help ease immediate labour supply pressures, the government commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to undertake a rapid Shortage Occupation List (SOL) assessment for the construction and hospitality sectors, ahead of its full review of the SOL concluding later in 2023. The government has accepted the MAC’s interim recommendations, to initially add five construction occupations to the SOL, which will take effect before summer recess. The government will also review the SOL more regularly, based on recommendations from the MAC, so that the legal migration system is quicker and more responsive to the needs of businesses and the economy.

3.43 To make it easier and more attractive to do business in the UK, the government will simplify business visitor rules. This includes expanding the range of short-term business activities that can be carried out for periods of up to 6 months and reviewing permitted paid engagements. These changes will be implemented from autumn 2023. In addition, the government will consider further enhanced provisions linked to negotiations with trade partners, including a wider range of activities."

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