What is UK Shortage Occupation List for Skilled Worker visa 2023

UK Shortage Occupation list (SOL) for Skilled Worker visa is the official record of jobs that according to UK immigration authority, Home Office, have staff shortages in the UK. In other words, the Shortage Occupation List is the official list of occupations where there is not enough suitably skilled local workers in the UK, and where it is sensible to fill those shortages with migrant workers through a skilled work visa.

In addition to the Shortage Occupation List jobs, there is another official Home Office list of jobs, Appendix Skilled Occupations. The Appendix Skilled Occupations includes ALL the jobs that qualify for UK sponsored work visas. This Appendix has many more jobs than the Shortage Occupation one.

Most recent updates on the UK Shortage Occupation List 2023

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on 3rd October 2023 published their Report on Shortage Occupation List. We prepared a separate blog article on this Report and you can find it clicking on ‘MAC Report blog article 4th October 2023′. The report reconfirms that the 6145 care workers and 6146 senior care workers Soc Codes are recommended to stay on the Shortage Occupation List.

Important for UK visa applicants: On 13th July 2023 UK Prime Minister announced significant increase to UK visa application fees and NHS Surcharge fees. It is not yet known when the new fees will come into effect but we expect it to be soon. More about this and the impact on the visa applicants is Explained here.

Please note that our article below reflects the current fees, not the increased fees. This is because the new fees do not yet apply. However, if you plan to make a UK visa application you should do it as soon as you can to avoid paying the higher fees. We strongly recommend reading our blog article about Increase of UK visa fees and NHS Surcharge.

Staff shortages in the UK

There is recent information published by the UK Chamber of Commerce about difficulties to find workers in hospitality, manufacturing and engineering sectors and there is a recent article in the Guardian about serious issues caused by staff shortages in the care sector.

The lack of local workers gives opportunity for those foreign nationals who have the required skills to apply for the vacant shortage occupation jobs in the UK, and obtain the relevant Skilled Worker or Health and Care visa (health and care visa is a sub-category of Skilled Worker visa). These visas allow the visa holders and their families to settle in the UK permanently and ultimately obtain British citizenship.

In later part of this article we give some tips on how to find jobs in the UK, this includes tips how to find Shortage jobs and other skilled jobs for UK work visa. Therefore, if you would like to find out more about the jobs search in the UK, please read the paragraph Where and how to look for jobs in the UK, which is towards the end of our article.

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 - what jobs are on the List

What are the Advantages for jobs on Shortage Occupation List

What are the advantages for Shortage Occupation List jobs: Jobs on the Shortage Occupation List have a lower minimum salary requirement for Skilled Worker visa. The minimum pay has to be no less than 80% of the going rate for the specific job (each job that qualifies for the Skilled Worker visa has a minimum salary rate assigned to it) and no less than £20,960 per year, whichever of the two is higher. To find out more about different salary levels for a Skilled Worker visa, please visit this page on our website. You will see that there are a number of different scenarios when the minimum salary can be lower than the standard £26,200 per year.

When applying for Skilled Worker sponsor licence it is easier to explain the need to employ a foreign worker if the job is on the Shortage Occupation list.

Those who applied for asylum in the UK normally are unable to work until their claim is granted. However, in certain circumstances asylum applicants whose cases have been pending with the Home Office for over 12 months due to no fault of their own, may be able to obtain a permission to work from the Home Office. We provide more information on this here.

Finally, Skilled Worker visa application fees for the main applicant and dependent family members are lower when the job is on the Shortage Occupation list.

As a note for foreign workers looking for employment in the UK, the jobs on the UK Shortage Occupation List are not the only jobs that are in demand in the UK. All the jobs that qualify for Skilled Worker visa and other sponsored work visas, are listed in the Appendix Skilled Occupations. Before you can apply for a visa you must find employment in the UK with sponsor licence holder organisation. In the UK, immigration lawyers do NOT help with job search.

What are Home Office plans for care workers Soc Code 6145

Due to dire care staff shortages in the UK, migrant care workers,carers and care assistants make significant part of the skilled worker visas issued by the UK Home Office. We write about this in our August 2023 blog focused on recent updates for health and care visa.

The latest potential deadline for the Health and Care visa for Soc Code 6145 (care workers and home carers) was 15 February 2023. The Soc Code 6145 remains eligible for the Skilled Worker visa and from the sources available, we reckon it is unlikely to end anytime soon.

We recommend reading our article What next after 15th February 2023 for the health and care visa scheme for more information

What jobs are on UK Shortage Occupation List 2023

The full current Shortage Occupation List 2023 can be found on UK government website here. There is a separate Shortage Occupation List for Health and Education jobs which you can find here. Our next heading in this article is dedicated to the Health and Education jobs on Shortage List.

As you can see below, the Shortage Occupation list has jobs from a variety of fields. What is more, the list is due to expand to include fishing jobs and construction jobs from the summer 2023. We write about this in the further part of our article.

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 care workers and social care jobs

  • 6145 – Care workers and home carers – private households or individuals (other than sole traders sponsoring someone to work for their business) cannot sponsor Skilled Worker applicants
  • 6146 – Senior care workers – all jobs
  • 1242– Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors – all jobs
  • 1181 – Health services and public health managers and directors – all jobs

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 Welding trades (some jobs)

  • 5215 – Welding trades – only high integrity pipe welders, where the job requires 3 or more years’ related on-the-job experience. This experience must not have been gained through illegal working.

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 laboratory technicians jobs

  • 3111 – Laboratory technicians – all jobs

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 IT and software jobs

  • 2135 – IT business analysts, architects and systems designers – all jobs
  • 2136 – Programmers and software development professionals – all jobs
  • 2137 – Web design and development professionals – all jobs
  • 2139 – Information technology and communications professionals not elsewhere classified – only cyber security specialists

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 Engineers jobs

  • 2121– Civil engineers – all jobs
  • 2122 – Mechanical engineers – all jobs
  • 2124 – Electronics engineers – all jobs
  • 2126 – Design and development engineers – all jobs
  • 2127 – Production and process engineers – all jobs
  • 2129 – Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified – all jobs
  • 2461 – Quality control and planning engineers – all jobs

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 Veterinarians

  • 2216 – Veterinarians – all jobs

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 Architects

  • 2431 – Architects – all jobs

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 actuaries, economists and statisticians (only specified jobs)

  • 2425 – Actuaries, economists and statisticians – only bio-informaticians and informaticians

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 artists, dancers, musicians, arts officers, producers and directors

  • 3411 – Artists – all jobs
  • 3414 – Dancers and choreographers – only skilled classical ballet dancers or skilled contemporary dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK ballet or contemporary dance companies. The company must be endorsed as being internationally recognised by a UK industry body such as the Arts Councils (of England, Scotland or Wales)
  • 3415 – Musicians – only skilled orchestral musicians who are leaders, principals, sub-principals or numbered string positions, and who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK orchestras.
    The orchestra must a full member of the Association of British Orchestras.
  • 3416 – Arts officers, producers and directors – all jobs

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 graphic designers

  • 3421 – Graphic designers – all jobs

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 scientists

  • 2111– Chemical scientists – only jobs in the nuclear industry – NOTE: 2111 is for SCOTLAND ONLY
  • 2112 – Biological scientists and biochemists – all jobs
  • 2113 – Physical scientists – only the following jobs in the construction-related ground engineering industry: engineering geologist hydrogeologist, geophysicist
  • 2113 – Physical scientists – only the following jobs in the oil and gas industry:
    technical services manager in the decommissioning and waste areas of the nuclear industry
    senior resource geologist and staff geologist in the mining sector
  • 2114 – Social and humanities scientists – only archaeologists

What jobs are on UK Shortage occupation List for Healthcare and Education in 2023

Those who intend to work in the UK on Skilled Worker visa, need to be aware that there is a separate Shortage Occupation List for Health and Education jobs which you can find here. We list those jobs below.

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 Healthcare jobs

  • 2211 – Medical practitioners – all jobs
  • 2212 – Psychologists – all jobs
  • 2213 – Pharmacists – all jobs
  • 2217 – Medical radiographers – all jobs (including radiotherapy practitioners / technologists)
  • 2219 – Health professionals not elsewhere classified – all jobs
  • 2221 – Physiotherapists – all jobs
  • 2222 – Occupational therapists – all jobs
  • 2223 – Speech and language therapists – all jobs
  • 2231 – Nurses – all jobs
  • 3213 – Paramedics – all jobs
  • 6141 – Nursing auxiliaries and assistants – all jobs

UK Shortage Occupation List 2023 Education (teaching jobs)

  • 2314 – Secondary education teaching professionals – only teachers in maths, physics, science (where an element of physics will be taught), computer science and modern foreign languages
  • 2314 – Secondary education teaching professionals – only teachers in Gaelic
  • 2315 – Primary and nursery education teaching professionals – only Gaelic medium teachers
  • 2442 – Social workers – all jobs

UK Shortage occupation List 2023 is currently under review

On 23rd February 2023 Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) announced ‘Shortage Occupation List (SOL): call for evidence 2023’ to receive feedback in relation to Shortage Occupation list jobs.

The Government periodically commissions the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to recommend which jobs should be placed on the SOL. The MAC considers the data and qualitative evidence from stakeholders and compiles a list for the SOL. However, as the SOL forms part of the Immigration Rules, ultimately it is for the UK government to decide which occupations are selected.

MAC want to hear views from organisations’ and businesses on what they think about the shortage occupation roles that are being filled by migrant workers, the salaries they are paid and implications of potential changes to Shortage List. The responses from organisations should be submitted before the closing date of 26 May 2023. Following receipt of the evidence, MAC will conduct their full review and present its recommendations to the Home Office as to what jobs should be on Shortage Occupation List.

UK Spring 2023 budget on immigration

In the most recent UK Budget published on 15th March 2023 UK government assures businesses that government is supporting business to tackle labour shortages and improving business mobility by:

  • Accepting the recommendations of the independent Migration Advisory Committee: we are adding five construction occupations to the Shortage Occupation List following their rapid review of the SOL for the construction and hospitality sectors. This will take effect later this summer ahead of the MAC’s wider review of the SOL reporting in the autumn.
  • Simplifying and expanding the UK’s business visit visa offer: we are expanding the range of short-term business activities that can be carried out for periods of up to 6 months and reviewing permitted paid engagements from Autumn 2023. We will also consider further enhanced provisions linked to trade negotiations.

MAC recommendation to add 5 construction jobs to Shortage Occupation List

In the meantime, when the full review of Shortage Occupation List is pending, Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published their interim recommendation to include 5 construction job categories to the Shortage Occupation List. Those are the below listed jobs. For more details on the interim MAC report please read our blog

The below listed construction jobs are now included in the updated UK Shortage Occupation List published in early August 2023.

Bricklayers and masons

Recommend for addition to the SOL


Roofers, roof tilers and slaters

Recommend for addition to the SOL


Carpenters and joiners

Recommend for addition to the SOL


Construction and building trades n.e.c.

Recommend for addition to the SOL



Recommend for addition to the SOL and recommend that ‘Dryliners’ but not ‘Ceiling fixers’ are moved to this SOC code
Construction jobs shortage occupation list

NO Hospitality jobs recommended for Shortage Occupation List

For the few hospitality sector occupations, in their interim review MAC do not feel that they have sufficiently clear evidence that these specific occupations are in shortage, or, that a lower salary threshold would be sensible. As a result, MAC do NOT recommend the addition of any occupations in the hospitality sector to the Shortage Occupation List.

None of the below listed hospitality jobs are currently recommended by MAC for the Shortage Occupation list:

  • 1221 (Hotel and accommodation managers and proprietors)
  • 1223 (Restaurant and catering establishment managers and proprietors)
  • 5434 (Chefs)
  • 5436 (Catering and bar manager)
  • 9273 (Waiters and waitresses)

In their interim review MAC stated that they recognise that the hospitality sector was given a very short timescale to provide evidence. Therefore, depending on the further evidence received, MAC may still recommend some hospitality jobs for the SOL when they publish their final review.

Fishing jobs to be added to Shortage Occupation List from summer 2023

From the summer, share fishermen, trawler skippers and experienced deckhands on large fishing vessels will benefit from lower fees and salary requirements. You may want to read our other article for more details.

Inclusion on the Short Occupation List means jobs qualify at a 20% lower salary threshold (£20,960 instead of £26,200). Applicants also pay lower fees (£479 for a 3-year visa instead of £625). The broader English language requirements of the Skilled Worker route also apply on the SOL.

The list of fishing jobs that are now included in the updated UK Shortage Occupation List published in early August 2023:

  • share fishermen;
  • trawler skippers; and
  • experienced deckhands on large fishing vessels.

Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) Reports – Shortage Occupation List

Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is an independent public body that advises the government on migration issues. MAC is an advisory non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Home Office.

Recently, in mid December 2022, MAC published its Annual Report 13th December 2022. MAC has also been commissioned by the UK government in September 2022 to review Shortage Occupation List.

In April 2022 MAC completed its enquiry Report into the impact of the ending of Freedom of Movement for EU/EEA nationals on the Adult Social Care Sector and submitted the report to Government and Parliament. In the Report, MAC recommended that care workers continue to be eligible to apply for a Health and Care Worker visa, and also made some additional recommendations for changes to the immigration system to ease the burden on social care employers and migrants.

We recommend reading our article What next after 15th February 2023 for the health and care visa scheme for more information

MAC’s main recommendation was that a minimum rate of pay should be established for care workers at a premium to the statutory minimum wage where care is being provided with public funds. MAC suggested that this should initially be set at £1 per hour above the National Living Wage but expected a more substantial premium to be needed to properly address the crisis in social care recruitment and retention.

However, the Government have still not responded to the MAC’s report. MAC noted that the local Governments of Scotland and Wales are taking clear action to address low pay in the care sector and are bewildered by the lack of urgency exhibited by the Department of Health and Social Care.

You will need to find a suitably skilled job first, to then apply for a Skilled Worker visa.

Work in shortage occupation – how to find a UK shortage occupation job

To work in shortage occupation job in the UK or in fact any skilled job, you need to get a Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK sponsor employer and obtain a Skilled Worker visa. This is because for the visa you must first receive a suitable job offer from a UK employer with a sponsor licence.

In order to find a UK job, you would need to do an online search to make job applications directly to UK employers OR apply via recruitment agencies websites. Further below we list some examples of recruitment websites but there are many others that you can find by doing internet search.

You can also search the public registered of sponsor employers as employers on there hold a sponsor licence and are able to issue work permit that will give you the right to apply for a UK work visa. you can see that there are thousands of UK employers that hold a sponsor licence and can employ foreign workers.

When searching for UK jobs, you need to be patient, and also careful, as you need to watch out for any unscrupulous ‘recruitment agents’ who may try to make money out of you. You should note, that it is illegal for job agencies in the UK to charge fees to job seekers for finding them employment. It is an important principle to bear in mind when searching for jobs. you may read the article in the UK Guardian newspaper on this topic. ‘Migrant care workers came to help the UK. Now they’re trapped in debt bondage’.

Examples of UK recruitment job sites are listed below:




shortage occupation UK visa list

Where to find out what jobs are on the Shortage Occupation list

If you wonder what jobs are currently in demand in the UK, you may check the UK Shortage Occupation List. The jobs in Shortage Occupation list are published by the Home Office in the Immigration Rules Appendix Shortage Occupation List – Immigration Rules – Guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

What jobs are on UK Shortage Occupation List 2023

Examples of jobs on the UK Shortage Occupation List 2023:

  • Care workers and home carers
  • Senior Care Workers
  • Veterinarians
  • Health sector jobs (e.g. medical practitioners, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, medical radiographers, physiotherapists, paramedics, social workers, nursing auxiliaries and assistants)
  • Secondary teachers (only teachers in maths, physics, science (where an element of physics will be taught), computer science and modern foreign languages)
  • Programmers and software development professionals
  • Web design and development professionals
  • IT systems analysts, architects and systems designers
  • Civil engineers
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Electrical engineers.
  • Graphic designers
  • Arts officers, producers and directors 

The above list is not complete, and it only gives examples of the type of jobs on the Shortage Occupation List. The full current list can be found here. There is a separate Shortage Occupation List for Health and Education jobs which you can find her

What do you need to take advantage of the opportunity

To take advantage of the lower salaries for skilled jobs on the Shortage Occupation list, and to employ such workers, the organization should already possess a Skilled Worker sponsor licence Or be prepared to apply for one.

There are numerous reports that foreign nationals searching for shortage occupation jobs in care homes, are being exploited by bogus ‘recruitment agencies’ and middle men. See as an example recent article in The Guardian on this topic. Some of those so called recruiters can charge anything between 3000 and 18000 GBP for their services.

Charging for the work placement is illegal in the UK. No reputable recruitment agency would charge fees, in particular such steep ones, for a work placement. If you are a worker looking for a job in the UK in the shortage occupation type of employment the best way to go about it is to find and apply for the position by yourself. Money you save can be put to better use. For example to translate documents and visa application services.

What to do if you are looking for work

You can check if your prospective employer already has the Skilled Worker sponsor licence by going to Home Office website.

If your prospective employer already has the sponsor licence they will be able to assign you a Certificate of Sponsorship (work permit). If they do not have one, they will need to apply for Skilled Worker sponsor licence first, before they can assign you a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). Only when you have a Cos (work permit) from a licenced sponsor employer, you can subsequently apply for a Skilled Worker visa.

How to apply for shortage occupation jobs – Where and how to look for jobs in the UK

There are several websites dedicated to job search in the UK. Please note that Immigration lawyers or solicitors cannot help in finding jobs or look for jobs for the applicants. What we do as immigration lawyers is assisting with visa applications after you already have a job offer from a UK employer.

Your course of action when looking for job should be:

  • First you have to visit Home Office webpage and download the list of certified sponsors and search it for care providers
  • then you have to visit job search websites, such as for example Indeed or Carehome.co.uk and look through them for companies with sponsor licence (you can use search function) or simply search for care jobs from the 6145 SOC list below
  • alternatively, you can directly contact care providers from the sponsor list asking if they are hiring, you can find them and their contact details through internet search
  • when you select a suitable job offer, you can then submit your CV, or write to the job advertiser

We, as an immigration law firm, do not act as an employment agency.

More care jobs are now added to the Shortage Occupation List

The Shortage Occupation List is subject to changes and the Home Office may add or remove jobs from the list. Home Office makes their decisions based on the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) reports. The latest MAC annual report Migration Advisory Committee: annual report, 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Following MAC recommendation, the Home Office is due to add more Care jobs to the Shortage Occupation list. You can read more about this in our blog here Care workers added to Health and Care Visa – Thaxted Legal.

The below listed care jobs are on the UK Shortage Occupation List from 15/02/2022. This addition is temporary for 12 months, and afterwards the Home Office will review it and decide if this arrangement will continue. For at least the next 12 months until mid February 2023, care workers and carers from overseas will be able to apply for Health and care visa and move to the UK together with dependant family members (spouse and children under 18). The Health and Care visa offers a path to settlement (permanent residence) in the UK after 5 years continuous residence on work visa.

6145 Care workers and home carers• Care assistant
• Care worker
• Carer
• Home care assistant
• Home carer
• Support worker (nursing home)

If you want to find out more about costs of different Skilled worker visas visit our page with a dedicated visa cost calculator below.

Top tip – shortage occupation are not the only jobs in demand in the UK

There are jobs that are not listed on the Shortage Occupation but are still in high demand in the UK and there are staff shortages. Those are for example jobs in the construction sector (e.g. painters and decorators, plasterers, bricklayers), butchers, or chefs. If you have experience in those professions, and you receive a job offer from an authorised sponsor employer in the UK, you have knowledge of English language to the Level B1, you may obtain a Skilled Worker visa and come to work in the UK.

What if my job is not on shortage occupation list

If your job is not on the current UK Shortage Occupation list it is not the end of your UK work visa hopes. Any jobs that are skilled to NQF Level 3 (approximate equivalent skill level to High School graduate) that are listed as eligible on the Home Office Appendix Skilled Occupations can qualify for the UK work visa. Of course the required minimum salary has to be paid and you would need to have a Certificate of Sponsorship from the sponsor employer.

Skilled Worker visa and Health & Care visa as a way to settle in the UK

You need to reside in the UK for 5 years continuously on a skilled worker visa in order to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Settlement. We provide more details on the Skilled Worker ILR requirements on this page. After you receive your ILR you can then (usually after 1 year) you may apply to Naturalise as British citizen and subsequently obtain British passport.

If you require help with obtaining sponsor licence or skilled worker visa get in touch with us or visit one of our dedicated pages.

How to get a sponsor licence. Health and care visa.

Skilled worker visa.

2 Thoughts to “Shortage occupation list”

  1. Deep Agarwal


    My son is currently in London on a Tier 4 study visa valid till Jan 2024. He is pursuing a Diploma in Patisserie and will finish in September this year. I wanted advice on whether he can continue to work part time or full time till the expiry of his visa?
    If he joins a master course in the UK, can his current visa be extended? What are his options under the self-sponsored Visa programme?
    I will be happy to have a call for your consultation and look forward to your response on how to take this forward.

    Warm regards,
    Deep Agarwal

  2. Gideon Asare

    I kindly want to know if Drywall installers are on the shortage occupation list?
    Many thanks,

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