The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published the report of their most recent review of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL . The report can be found here. In summary, and simplistically, the MAC has recommended that manufacturing roles including leather working trades should not be included in the SOL.
The report is hefty and while I would encourage you to read the context, please see pages 542-544 and 550 for the rationale for the MAC’s recommendations and what further information MAC would like to see.
The decision by MAC will greatly limit the sector’s ability to bring in workers from overseas, particularly for ‘shop floor’ roles. Exclusion from the SOL means that the sector is not eligible for exemptions from the new skilled worker route of entry, where we are already hampered by an average salary that is far below the new policy threshold.
One issue that has been highlighted was the lack of responses to the consultation, meaning that the MAC had insufficient evidence for any decision other than exclusion from the SOL. There will be a further review conducted by the MAC, which is likely to be after 1 January 2021 and I encourage you to respond individually as and when that becomes available.
Dr Kerry Senior
Director, Leather UK