On the official “shortage occupation list” (SOL), Britain is looking for ballerinas, biochemists, and welders. SOL is the newly placed system for Britain’s new stance on immigration; it gives some occupations a free visa.
Britain’s new stance on immigration means that all migrants are treated equally. It does not matter if you’re from France or Timbuktu; you will need a high school diploma or be particularly talented at something, speaking English is mandatory for most, as well as job offer with a salary of over £25,600. A few exceptions include PhDs and those lucky enough to be in SOL.
The cap on the migrant numbers has been removed, but the salary threshold of £25,600 has scared some industries. Unemployment is at a low 3.8%, and with 800k job vacancies, firms worry about low-skilled EU migrants not allowed to fill the jobs that the UK needs.
This new system of tougher on low-skilled, and more liberal with high-skilled is only an estimated migration cut of 35k from the now 212k. The good news is that GDP per head will almost certainly rise along with wages, especially people sitting in and around the minimum wage.
The not so good news is for people that employ low paid EU workers. IPPR, a think-tank, estimates that 66% of the low paid workers in health and social care, along with 85% in the hotel and hospitality industry, will be unable to get work visas. Priti Patel, the home secretary, commented on how there are 8.45m people between the age of 16 and 64 who are inactive that could take up the shortfall. What she failed to mention is that only 2m are looking for a job as most are studying, sick, or retired.