MAC recommends top chefs to remain on shortage list

13 Sep 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has released their latest proposals on non-EU migrant workers coming to the United Kingdom. The Government's official advisers have recommended that the number of jobs covered by the shortage occupation list be reduced by 70,000 jobs, from 260,000 to 190,000.

Recommendations include the removal of secondary school biology teachers, consultants in obstetrics and gynaecology, veterinary surgeons and some orchestral musicians. Conversely the report suggests the addition 2D/3D video games and film animators, consultants in emergency medicine, environmental scientists, geochemists and managers involved in decommissioning nuclear power stations.

Skilled chefs
The role of skilled chef remains on the shortage occupation list, with the MAC stating that based on evidence they received there is "still a case for the very top chefs to be recruited from outside the EEA." Visalogic was noted among a handful of representatives recognised for providing evidence on behalf of the catering sector. Evidence submitted served to reinforce the reality that despite efforts to recruit skilled chefs, a number of employers were still short of the number of chefs they required.

According to the MAC's latest recommendations, Chef jobs that require a minimum of 5 years of experience at the same or higher status, and are paying at least £28,260 should be included on the shortage occupation list.

In addition to the criteria above, the chef positions must not be in a fast food outlet or an establishment which provides take-away services, or where 'standard fare' is served (where dishes are not prepared from fresh/raw ingredients).

The chef position must also be one of the following:

  • Executive chef (limited to one per establishment)
  • Head chef (limited to one per establishment)
  • Sous chef (limited to one for every four kitchen staff per establishment)
  • Specialist chef (limited to one per speciality per establishment)

In announcing the committee's overall proposals the committee chairman, David Metcalf, said: "We think it is vital that the Government, employers and the training sector take concerted action to raise the skill levels of the UK workforce, especially in long-standing shortage occupation areas.

"This will reduce the UK's reliance on migrant workers in the long term and provide real benefits for the economy as a whole."

The Government will now consider the Migration Advisory Committee's recommendations and report later this year.

In the meantime, please feel welcome to contact us to find out more about the proposed changes to the shortage occupation list and how they might impact your business.