UK Skills Shortage List

The UK Skills Shortage list contains the UK government approved shortage occupations for the Tier 2  points-based visa immigration system.  If you are thinking of coming to the UK to look for job, see the list of occupations and skills shortage here to help you assess your eligibility and likelihood of getting a tier 2 visa.

If you have the right qualification and experience, the UK job market needs you. There is a great Skills Shortage in the UK.

UK skills shortage - process safety engineers at work

"One in five job vacancies are unfilled because employers cannot find workers with the right skills", reports The Guardian newspaper of Thursday 30 January 2014. And the BBC, on the 14th of March 2014, reports that "Business leaders have said a growing shortage of skills in the hi-tech sector is threatening Britain's economic recovery."

If the economy must grow, people with the right skill mix must be allowed into the UK to fill such roles where there is a dearth of indigenous UK skilled workers.

A survey of European CIOs by IDC for Cisco has found demand for people with these skills is "likely to outstrip availability by about 40,000 people in the UK. Across Europe there will be a shortfall of half a million people."

Yet another report from the Contractor UK website, a leading IT provider reads: "Britain is facing an IT skills gap in the workforce that threatens to damage global competitiveness within 10 years if not addressed, according to a new report from E-Skills". … and from the BBC, "The skills shortage is costing the UK billions of pounds".

A study by the national Skills Task Force backs up previous researchers by suggesting that nearly one in five adults - about seven million grownups - have a lower level of literacy than the average 11 year old.

So the UK needs you. You don't have to be a rocket scientist or professor of brain surgery to be on the list. If you are a secondary school teacher in the fields of Mathematics and science, or a skilled chef who meets certain other criteria, you could be on your way to getting a work visa to come into or remain in the UK.

List of UK Skills Shortage Occupations

The following are jobs in the latest list of UK skills shortage or shortage occupations as at of April 2014.

If you have any of these skills and can get a valid certificate of sponsorship from a prospective employer in the UK, you can apply to come to the UK, or remain here under the Tier 2 immigration point based visa system.

What many have done in the past is to study this list and then take courses and train in any of these UK skills shortage occupations as well as obtain the relevant work experience. In most cases, this would take 1 to 5 years. It could be a worthwhile investment, depending on your aspirations, values and circumstances.

We list these occupations in alphabetic order (headings) as much as possible.

1. Biological Scientists (And Biochemists) Occupation Code = 2112

ONLY the following jobs in this occupation code:

  • Clinical neurophysiologist

2. Chefs & Cooks - Occupation Code = 5434

ONLY the following job in this occupation code for UK skills shortage:

  • Skilled chef where: the pay is at least £29, 570 per year after deductions for accommodation, meals etc; and the job requires five or more years relevant experience, and the job is not a fast food outlet or a standard fare outlet or an establishment which provides takeaway services. The job must be in one of the following categories - executive chef, head chef, sous chef or specialist chef.

3. Civil Engineers - Occupation Code = 2121

ONLY the following jobs in this occupation code

  • Geotechnical engineer
  • Geotechnical design engineer
  • Geotechnical specialist
  • Reservoir panel engineer
  • Rock mechanics engineer
  • Soil mechanics engineer
  • Geomechanics engineer
  • Tunnelling engineer
  • Petroleum engineer
  • Geoenvironmental engineer Section F – construction
  • Contaminated land engineer
  • Drilling engineer
  • Completions engineer
  • Fluids engineer
  • Reservoir engineer
  • Status resource engineer
  • Offshore and Subsea engineer
  • control and instrument engineer
  • Process safety engineer
  • Planning drilling engineer
  • Subsurface engineer
  • Project civil engineer in the electricity generation industry
  • Contaminated land engineer

4. Dancers (And Choreographers) - Occupation Code = 3414

ONLY the following jobs in this occupation code for UK skills shortage:

  • Skilled classical ballet dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised United Kingdom ballet companies (e.g. Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet). The company must either: have performed at or been invited to perform at venues of the calibre of the Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells or Barbican, either in the United Kingdom or overseas; Or attract dancers and/or choreographers and other artists from other countries; or be endorsed as being internationally recognized by a United Kingdom industry body such as the Arts Councils (of England, Scotland and/or Wales)
  • Skilled Contemporary Dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognized United Kingdom contemporary dance companies (e.g shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, Scottish Dance Theatre and Rambert Dance Company). The company must either: have performed at or been invited to perform at venues of the calibre of the Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells or Barbican, either in the United Kingdom or overseas; Or attract dancers and/or choreographers and other artists from other countries; or be endorsed as being internationally recognized by a United Kingdom industry body such as the Arts Councils (of England, Scotland and/or Wales).

5. Design (And Development Engineers) Occupation Code = 2126

ONLY the following job in this occupation code:

  • Design engineer in the electricity transmission and distribution industry
  • Product Design Engineer, Automotive design and manufacturing
  • Product Development Engineer, Automotive design and manufacturing
  • Integrated Circuit Design Engineer, Electronics systems
  • Integrated Circuit Testing Engineer, Electronic systems.

6. Electrical Engineers - Occupation Code = 2123

ONLY the following jobs in this occupation code for UK skills shortage:

  • Electrical engineers in the oil and gas industry

All electrical engineers in the electricity transmission and distribution industry, including the following:

  • Power system engineer
  • Control engineer
  • Protection engineer

Aerospace Electrical Engineers, including:

  • Electrical Machine Design Engineers
  • Power Electronics Engineers

Railway Electrical Engineers:

  • Signalling design manager
  • Signalling design engineer
  • Signalling principles designer
  • Senior signalling design checker
  • Signalling design checker
  • Signalling systems engineer 

Automotive Manufacturing and Design Electrical Engineers:

  • Specialist electronics engineer

7. Engineering Professionals(not elsewhere classified) Occupation Code = 2129

ONLY the following jobs in this occupation code.

The following jobs in the electricity transmission and distribution industry:

  • project engineer
  • proposals engineer

Aerospace Engineering

  • Aerothermal engineer
  • Stress Engineer
  • Chief of engineering
  • Advance tool and fixturing engineer

Decommissioning and Waste Management of Civil Nuclear Industry

  • Operations manager
  • Decommissioning specialist manager
  • Project / planning engineer
  • Radioactive waste manager
  • Radiological protection advisor

Civil Nuclear Industry

  • Nuclear safety case engineer
  • Mechanical design engineers (pressure vehicles)
  • Piping design engineer
  • Mechanical design engineer (stress)
  • Thermofluids  / process engineer

8. Engineering Technicians - Occupation Code = 3113 commissioning engineer

ONLY the following job in this occupation code:

  • Commissioning engineer
  • Substation electrical engineer

8. Environmental Professionals - Occupation Code = 2142

ONLY the following job in this construction-related ground engineering occupation code:

  • Contaminated land specialist
  • Geoenvironmental specialist
  • Landfill engineer

9. Graphic Designers - Occupation Code = 3421

ONLY the following job in this occupation code of visual effects and 2D / 3D computer animation for the film, television and video games industry:

  • Compositing artist
  • Matte painter
  • Modeller
  • Rigger
  • Stereo artist
  • Texture artist

10. Line Repairers and Cable Jointers - Occupation Code = 5249

ONLY the following job in this occupation code:

  • Overhead lines worker in the electricity transmission and distribution industry that works on high voltage lines that carry at least 275,000 volts.

11. Mechanical Engineers - Occupation Code = 2122

ONLY the following jobs in this occupation code for UK skills shortage:

  • Mechanical engineers in the oil and gas industry

12. Medical and Dental Technicians - Occupation Code = 3218

ONLY the following jobs in this occupation code for UK skills shortage:

  • Nuclear medicine technologist
  • Radiotherapy technologist

12. Medical Practitioners - Occupation Code = 2211

Consultants in the following specialties:

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Haematology
  • Old Age Psychiatry

Non-consultant, non-training, medical staff posts in the following specialties:

  • Anaesthetics
  • General medicine specialities delivering acute care services (intensive care medicine, general internal medicine (acute), emergency medicine, including specialty doctors working in emergency department
  • Rehabilitation medicine
  • Psychiatry

13. Medical Radiographers - Occupation Code = 3214

ONLY the following jobs in this occupation code for UK skills shortage:

  • HPC-registered diagnostic radiographer
  • HPC-registered therapeutic radiographer
  • Sonographer

14. Musicians - Occupation Code = 3415

ONLY the following job in this occupation code for UK skills shortage:

  • Skilled orchestral musicians who meet the standard required by internationally recognized companies (e.g. London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)

15. Nurses - Occupation Code = 3211

ONLY the following jobs in this occupation code:

  • Specialist nurse working in neonatal intensive care units

16. Physical Scientists - Occupation Code =2113

ONLY the following jobs in this occupation code.

Construction Related Ground Engineering Industry:

  • Engineering geologist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Geophysics

Oil & Gas Industry

  • Geophysicist
  • Geoscientist
  • Geologist
  • Geo-chemist

17. Production Managers and Directors in Mining and Energy
- Occupation Code = 1123

ONLY the following jobs in this occupation code.

Decommissioning and Waste Management Areas of the Nuclear Industry:

  • Managing Director
  • Program Director
  • Site Manager

Electricity, Transmission And Distribution Industry:

  • Project Manager
  • Site Manager.

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