The Migration Advisory Committee (‘MAC’) has published its review of teachers and partial view of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). In some circumstances a job would need to be advertised before being filled by a non-European Economic Area (EEA) migrant. This is known as the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT). The job that is advertised must meet specific requirements in order for the RLMT to be considered satisfactory. The SOL is a list that is published in the UK every year that includes jobs that do not need to be advertised before being offered to a non-EEA migrant.
The MAC was asked by the Home Secretary in May 2016 to review the labour market for teachers in order to establish if there were shortages, and if so whether these shortages could be filled by non-EEA migrants.
The MAC’s approach
In order to complete the review the MAC utilised a three-part test that has been used to form previous reports to consider whether a specific teaching job should either be placed or retained on the SOL:
- ‘we consider whether individual occupations or job titles are sufficiently skilled to be included on the SOL;
- we also consider whether there is a shortage of labour within each skilled occupation or job; and,
- finally, we consider whether it is sensible for immigrant labour from outside the EEA to be used to fill these shortages.’
There were, therefore, two key areas the MAC looked into in order to provide the collated evidence and data; teacher shortages as a whole and it being sensible to either retain or place teachers on the SOL.
Although three Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes were assessed in total (SOC 2314, SOC 2315 and SOC 2316), the recommendations the MAC have made are for SOC 2314 only.
The MAC did find that secondary school teachers in modern foreign languages passed the ‘shortage’ test however they did not pass the ‘sensible’ test as it was concluded that filling shortages of European language teachers with teachers from outside of Europe is ‘difficult’ to conclude as being the most sensible option.
The MAC have recommended that secondary school teachers in both maths and physics should be retained on the SOL as both subjects met the ‘shortage’ and ‘sensible’ test. The evidence and data collated showed that maths and physics graduates could be earning ‘considerably more in other occupations’, suggesting the reason for high demand for these teachers.
The MAC have recommended that secondary school teachers in computer science, Mandarin and science should be added to the SOL as all the subjects met the ‘shortage’ and ‘sensible’ test. For computer science, current evidence showed that almost 50% of lessons are taught by a teacher that has no relevant post A-level qualification, showing a clear shortage.
Finally, the MAC have recommended that secondary school teachers in chemistry should be removed from the SOL. They concluded that there was not sufficient evidence of a shortage of chemistry teachers; if anything, they are over-subscribed. Therefore, it would not be sensible to keep chemistry teachers on the SOL as there is no such shortage from the evidence gathered.
The MAC report can be found here.
The Government will respond to the MAC’s report and is likely to update the next Immigration Rules accordingly.