Nursing to Remain on UK Work Permit Shortage Occupation List

23 Aug 2019 | Carl Thomas

As businesses and employees across the UK continue to fret over the changing state of the UK work permit, the Home Office has revealed that nurses may have an easier route into the UK - regardless of what happens with Brexit.

The Migration Advisory Committee - the group responsible for compiling the list of occupations which appear on the "shortage occupation list" has confirmed that nursing will remain on the document in the years to come. Stakeholders informed the MAC group of the severe difficulties that many NHS and private care groups are facing when it comes to finding and maintaining employees with a tier 2 work permit.

The latest report from the Migration Advisory Committee found that out of all occupations in the UK, nursing is currently the career that has the highest use of general tier 2 work permits. These are the visas awarded to workers outside of the EU that have been offered a job in the UK. This indicated that the professional already relies on a large number of overseas employees.

In 2018 alone, there were more than 5,000 nurses hired in the UK on a tier 2 work permit - an increase on only 2,780 nurses hired using the same method in 2017. The report from the MAC group came with a shortage indicator rank for each career that is remaining on the occupation shortage list this year. Nursing received a score that placed it at number 47 out of a total of 105 professions.

Unfortunately, the MAC chose not to add midwives to the same shortage occupation list - despite requests from the department of health and social care. The group claims that the shortage indicator guide placed midwifery at number 101 out of 105 - due to only a handful of midwives being officially recruited using the tier 2 work permit in 2018. Midwifery only saw a single recruitment through the correct UK work permit in 2018, compared to over 5,000 hires for nurses in general.