New opportunities for construction companies as trades added to Shortage Occupations List.
In an exciting development for the construction industry, the Shortage Occupations List (SOL) is set to expand its scope. This move, as announced in the Spring Budget 2023, is aimed at addressing the ongoing labour shortages in the construction sector. Five essential trades will be included in the SOL, providing opportunities for controlled immigration processes to support the industry’s workforce needs.
The trades being added to the SOL include:
- Construction and Building Trades not elsewhere classified (NEC)
This expansion of the SOL is a significant milestone for construction companies and professionals alike. It will allow the industry to access a controlled immigration process that can help bridge the existing gaps in the workforce and manage potential shortages in the future effectively.
One notable change in this update is the inclusion of Dry Lining within the Standard Occupation Classification area 5321. This shift comes as a result of the Finishes & Interior Sector (FIS) recommendation and lobbying efforts on the SOC. Dry Lining will now share skilled worker status with Plastering, further emphasising its importance within the skilled labour force.
Iain McIlwee, CEO of FIS, expressed his relief and gratitude, stating:
“It is a relief to finally see Dry Lining recognised as both a skilled occupation and also the shortages that we face as a sector. This is something FIS has been campaigning on for a number of years, and I am grateful to colleagues from across the Construction Leadership Council for their efforts in helping to effect this exceptional change and thankful that we now have some movement. We now need to respond to the detailed review taking place to identify other areas of concern and revisit the sponsor and visa process to better understand any further blockers and issues.”
This development opens up new opportunities for construction companies to tap into a wider pool of skilled workers. It not only addresses the immediate labour shortages but also sets the stage for a more robust and sustainable workforce in the construction sector.
As these changes come into effect, construction companies are encouraged to stay informed and explore the benefits of these new opportunities. The industry is evolving, and these adjustments to the SOL demonstrate a commitment to meeting its evolving need.