Industry Responds to UK’s Migration Advisory Committee’s Report

May 31, 2019
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

ABPI has issued a response to the recent publication of the UK's Migration Advisory Committee’s full review on the shortage occupation list.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has issued a response to the recent publication of the United Kingdom’s Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC’s) full review on the shortage occupation list (SOL).

Within the report, MAC has recommended that a number of occupational fields are added to the previous list, which was published in 2013. With these additions, the SOL now covers approximately 9% of jobs in the labor market.

The ABPI were part of the consultation with the committee to emphasize the necessity for industry to be able to attract a sustained supply of specialist scientific skills globally, in addition to the available home-grown talent.

“The UK needs a highly skilled workforce, so we maintain high quality research, create the advanced treatments people need, and secure better outcomes for patients,” said Andrew Croydon, director of Skills and Education at the ABPI in a May 29, 2019 press statement. “The committee has heard our views and recognized important skills gaps, including bioinformatics, clinical pharmacology, and immunology. To create advanced treatments, increasingly we need our scientists to study the immune system and harness the power of genetics-hence all these disciplines are vital. Putting these fields on the shortage occupation list will help us as we look to address the evolving shortages we face.”

“Today’s labor market is very different to the one we reviewed when the last SOL was published in 2013. Unemployment is lower and employers in various industries are facing difficulties in finding skilled people to fill their vacancies,” said MAC chair Professor Alan Manning in a government press release. “That is why we have recommended expanding the SOL to cover a range of occupations in health, information, and engineering fields. However, our recommendations are clearly only applicable under the current immigration system, while EU free movement remains. We are recommending a full review of the SOL once there is a clearer picture of what the future immigration system will look like.”