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UK government urged to lift restrictions on overseas architects

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May 29 2019

UK government urged to lift restrictions on overseas architects

The UK government is facing calls to relax migration rules around the recruitment of overseas architects as part of measures aimed at addressing skills shortages in the labour market.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) highlighted architecture among several professions for which demand currently outstrips supply, amid calls for the sector to be included on a Shortage Occupation List (SOL) which expedites the immigration of key workers from outside the European Economic Area.

At present only architects from Europe have the freedom to accept UK roles without the need for a visa but if the measure is adopted workers from throughout the world could benefit from relaxed entry requirements and reduced visa fees.

Only 20,700 highly skilled non-EEA migrants are permitted access each year with a threshold salary of £30,000 under the current rules, with priority given to SOL occupations. Last year this resulted in labour shortages in key areas after the cap was hit - cutting off professions not on the list.

Professor Alan Manning, MAC chairman, said: "Today's labour market is very different to the one we reviewed when the last SOL was published in 2013. That is why we have recommended expanding the SOL to cover a range of occupations in health, information and engineering fields."

If a job title is classified on the SOL list then employers face no requirement to offer the role to UK workers as well as lower visa fees and no requirement to meet the £35,800 salary threshold for settlement after five years.

3 Comments

Bill S
#1 Posted by Bill S on 30 May 2019 at 07:59 AM
This is one of the many infuriating reasons about Brexit. If you create a hostile working atmosphere for different types of migrants - think ridiculous salary expectations or Visa requirements - then why would they stay? And that is even before the toxic arguments around "them and us" that seem to be perpetuated by the Brexit Shambles. So, when these people do leave, who is going to replace them if we don't have enough skilled nationals here? The whole shambolic affair is a short-sighted mess organised by people whose vision runs out just past the walled garden of their ivory towers. Numpties.
Kevan Shaw
#2 Posted by Kevan Shaw on 31 May 2019 at 10:19 AM
The Architectural Lighting Design profession as the same problem. We have a lack of places on a very limited number of lighting design courses in the UK certainly not enough to fulfil the requirements of this burgeoning design profession. The proposed rules will also extinguish the opportunity for non UK graduates to begin their career in UK practices whether they have studied in the UK or any of the European universities that have Lighting Design programmes.

Our practice has benefitted immensely from young talent form other EU countries and we have provided a stepping stone to many now well recognised leaders in Architectural Lighting Design.

Loss of this international perspective and ability to develop designers can only diminish the UK's leading role in this profession.

Kevan Shaw
Sven
#3 Posted by Sven on 31 May 2019 at 11:49 AM
I had the impression that architecture work in the UK and Scotland in particular was rather light and highly competitive as it is?

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