Feeds

Ballerinas and fish-gutters beat techies in UK immigration race

Gov says computer scientists not in short supply

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The UK is in dire need of ballet dancers, fish-gutters and sheep shearers - but not, it seems IT staff.

The government’s Migration Advisory Committee today published its “list of occupations for which there is a shortage of skilled workers in the UK and Scotland”, which will provide the backbone for a new points-based system for determining which non-EU citizens can come and work in the UK.

The list - which the government is not obliged to accept - details job titles and occupations that the committee has deemed “as being both skilled and in shortage and where... it is sensible to fill these shortages, at least in the short term, through immigration”.

Given the UK’s poor record in producing maths and science grads, and the government’s ambition to turn this sceptred isle into a knowledge economy, you might have expected techies to be well up the list.

And they are – at least when it comes to the traditional hard hat and white coat varieties. Civil engineers, physicists and geologists, chemical engineers and biologists are all in short supply, according to the committee. Even meteorologists are listed, as if we need to import people to tell us it’s raining.

Medical types - from doctors and nurses, through dentists, to care home assistants and vets - are also seemingly unicorn-rare in the UK’s labour force.

So far, so unexpected. But the list also highlights an apparent shortage of chefs and cooks (at least those earning more than £8.10 an hour, after deductions). And if you were worrying that the UK was falling behind in the classic dance stakes, don’t worry - “skilled ballet dancers” from outside the EU will be able to leap to the front of the queue.

And despite a rising fascination with bladed objects amongst the nation’s youth, sheep shearers and “manual filleters of frozen fish" (in Scotland) are also likely to be welcomed by the Home Office.

The prospect of a recruitment drive for bridge builders, dancers and jolly livestock coiffeurs will no doubt stun IT employers, who are seeing their wage bill rise as they compete for competent UK-based techies.

The one bright spot, perhaps, is that science and maths teachers are also on the list, meaning that those youngsters who don’t decide to chance their arm in the UK’s vibrant sheep-rearing sector might stand a slightly better chance of being technically literate by the time they get to school-leaving age. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.