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NPA members urged to make their voices heard on future labour policy

17th Dec 2018 / By Alistair Driver

NPA members are being encouraged to make their views known on the UK’s employment policy after we leave the EU.

The Migration Advisory Committee, which is advising the Government on post-Brexit employment policy, has launched a consultation on which roles could and should be on the UK Shortage Occupation List (SOL). The SOL comprises of occupations and job titles held to be in shortage across the UK where it would be sensible to fill through non-EEA migration. 

You can access the consultation here.

Members are encouraged to complete Annex A of the consultation, which is intended to allow individual businesses to respond.

The NPA and NFU will be responding to the consultation (Annex B) as representative organisations. To help inform our responses, the NFU has set up a survey aiming to gather a full picture across the farming sectors, so it can feed back the information to the MAC. It includes a specific section for the pig industry.

You can fill in the survey by clicking here

The MAC consultation closes on January 6, 2019

“Ensuring we continue to have access to so-called ‘lower skilled’ workers after we leave the EU is vital for the pig sector,” NPA senior policy advisor Ed Barker said.

“This is a unique opportunity for the pig industry to outline why specific roles should be included on the list and we strongly urge members to make their views known by responding directly to the consultation and filling in the online survey.”

About the SOL list

According to the NFU, job titles on the SOL are not required to undertake the Resident Labour Market Test. To be eligible for the SOL the occupations and job titles must:

  • Show national shortages that cannot be filled from within the UK domestic labour market;
  • Be skilled to the required level set by the Home Office; and
  • Demonstrate that it is sensible to seek to fill vacancies with migrant labour from outside of the EEA.


The MAC will focus on specific job titles rather than broader occupations and requires evidence that supports this approach. “The UK Government policy post-Brexit is not yet known however a recent report by the MAC was felt to be very negative about allowing workers deemed to be low skilled to enter under the Government’s Tier system.  Expanding the SOL may be the best route to allow access to non-EU workers post Brexit so please respond,” the NFU said.

The SOL has traditionally been focused on higher skilled roles such as scientists, engineers, programmers and medical practitioners, but, for the first time, ‘lower skilled’ roles may also be considered. There are currently restrictions in place, such as the qualification levels and salary thresholds but it seems these too are also up for consideration.