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Recruiters react to the MAC skills report

Recruiters react to the MAC skills report

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has just published its shortage occupation list having consulted the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) prior to its issue.

Commenting on the report, Tom Hadley, the RECs Director of External Relations said: "Whilst it is necessary to recruit from abroad for certain positions, the REC recognises that in the longer term, we need to upskill our own population to fill the gaps in the labour market. To this end, REC is working with Jobcentre Plus, the Learning and Skills Councils and others to ensure that the large investment in skills, which the Government is making, is targeted in the right areas."

Responding to the recommendations of the report representatives from the recruitment industry made the following points.

On education, John Dunn, Chair of the REC Education Sector Group said "We welcome that maths and science teachers remain on the shortage occupation list. REC Education members will continue to maintain their close relationships with schools to ensure the provision of quality supply teachers, especially in these key areas of Secondary Maths and Science, is delivered without hindrance and that the provision of education to students is maintained."

On social care Peter Cullimore, Chair of the REC Nursing and Social Care Group said: "The recommendations made by MAC should go some way to assisting the current shortages of care workers, particularly in this economic climate.

Whilst we are encouraged by the fact that MAC has listened to some of our issues, we remain concerned that MAC is still listing the NQF level 3 as one set of the criteria to access Tier 2 immigration.

The REC will continue to use its seat on the MAC consultative groups to highlight shortages in this area and promote an adequate response by the Government."

Tom Hadley, speaking on behalf of the RECs Medical Sector Group said: "We welcome the fact that occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and radiographers remain on the list.

However recent changes to tier 1 of the points based system have meant that these positions are now very difficult to supply on an interim basis. The sector is concerned that this change may result in worsening skills shortages in these essential positions."

On construction and engineering positions Jason Campbell, Chair of the Construction Sector Group said: "We are pleased that the MAC has acknowledged that despite the large downturn in the construction market, shortages in specific skills in the construction and engineering industries persist. We call on the Government to support the analysis of the MAC when they make a final decision on the shortage occupation lists."

The REC will continue to use its relationship with the MAC to raise members' concerns where they are not able to recruit from the resident population.


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