In a review of the shortage occupation list in the UK, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has added veterinarians to the list. The profession was removed from the list in 2011.
The committee has recommended broadening the list to include all roles in occupations such as medical practitioners, nurses, programmers and software development professionals. This recognises the increasing difficulty in filling such roles.
“Our recommendations are clearly only applicable under the current immigration system, while EU free movement remains,” MAC chair professor Alan Manning said. “We are recommending a full review of the shortage occupation list once there is a clearer picture of what the future immigration system will look like.”
The news was welcomed by the British Veterinary Association (BVA), declaring it a “huge win for animal welfare and a resounding vote of confidence in the veterinary community”.
Around 95% of the vets carrying out critical public health work and animal welfare monitoring in abattoirs hail from overseas
In a submission to the MAC, the veterinary association highlighted the high proportion of EU vets working in the UK and raised concerns that an already-stretched veterinary workforce could struggle to cope with increased demand for some services after Brexit. The call was supported by the Department for the Environment.
“Around 95% of the vets carrying out critical public health work and animal welfare monitoring in abattoirs hail from overseas, predominantly the EU,” BVA said in a statement. “BVA has also raised concerns that demand for veterinary certification and health testing services could spiral in the event of a no deal Brexit, placing significant pressures on the workforce”
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