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UK Shortage Occupation List | Key Roles and Visa Benefits

UK Shortage Occupation List | Key Roles and Visa Benefits

The shortage occupation list UK job categories with various vacancies available, but domestic applicants are unoccupied. The UK government permits employers to hire overseas workers by making the immigration process straightforward. Moreover, the list is updated regularly to ensure that the UK has a vast number of jobs to support the UK economy. 

SOL jobs cover various sectors, including engineering, creative industries, IT, and healthcare. However, SOL reduces some visa restrictions for the assistance of international workers. The UK shortage occupation list is vital to address the job gap and support the UK economy.  

Choosing the Right Shortage Occupation Code

Employers add the SOC to their website to ensure that applicants use this code to check the job requirements, title, duration, and other job descriptions to ensure they align with the chosen code. Understanding the importance of the occupation code is critical to avoiding application delays and rejections. Adding the wrong SOC can lead the home office to question the legitimacy of the job, potentially resulting in a license compliance issue that could suspend the sponsor license. 

Occupation List 2023

According to 2023 July, the following job were added to the SOL:

Occupation CodeJob Type
9119Jobs in elementary occupation of agriculture and fishing 
5321All jobs in plasterers
5319Jobs in building trades and construction
5315Jobs in joiners and carpenters
5312All sorts of jobs in mason and bricklayer
5119Jobs obtainable in the fishing industry

Occupation List 2024 

There are a number of jobs here in SOL, according to the updated list 2024 in various sectors: 

Shortage Occupation List UK Healthcare

Occupation codeJob Type
6146Care workers (senior)
1242Proprietors and day, domiciliary, and residential care managers
1181Health directors and public managers and other health services. 

Shortage Occupation List UK Technology and Science

Occupation codeJob Type
2461Planning and quality control engineers 
2129Engineering professionals 
2127Process and production engineers
2126Development and design engineers
2124Electronics engineers
2123Electric engineers
2122Mechanical engineers 
2121Civil engineers
2114Humanities and social scientists are only limited to archaeologists 
2113In the gas and oil industry, physical scientists are delimited to Senior geologist in the mining sectorGeoscientistGeochemistIn the nuclear industry waster area, technical services managerGeophysicist 
2113Physical scientists that are related to construction ground engineering limited to:HydrogeologistGeophysicistEngineering geologist
2112Biochemists and biological scientists
2111Nuclear industry chemical scientists

Shortage Occupation List UK Construction

Occupation codeJob Type
5321All jobs in plasterers
5319Jobs in building trades and construction
5315Jobs in joiners and carpenters
5312All sorts of jobs in mason and bricklayer

Shortage Occupation List UK IT

Occupation codeJob Type
2139Communication and IT professionals 
2137Professionals in development and web design
2136Professionals in software development and programmers
2135System designers, architects, and IT analysts in business 

Shortage Occupation List UK Fishing

Occupation codeJob Type
5119Jobs obtainable in the fishing industry
9119Jobs in elementary occupation of agriculture and fishing 

Shortage Occupation List UK Medicine, Professional Services, & Other Trades

Occupation codeJob Type
5215Welding trades only pipe welders that would be higher for three years, and the worker must be experienced 
3111Laboratory technicians 
2425Statisticians, actuaries, and economists delimited to:Informaticians Bioinformaticians

Shortage Occupation List UK Creative Industry

Occupation codeJob Type
3421Graphic designers 
3416Directors, producers, and art officers
3415Only orchestral musicians who will meet the requirements
3414Choreographers and dancers 

Shortage Occupation List UK Medicine

Occupation codeJob Type
6141Nursing assistance and auxiliaries 
2219Health professionals 
2217Medical radiographers 
2211Medical practitioners 

Shortage Occupation List UK Therapy

Occupation codeJob Type
2223Language and speech therapist 
2222Occupational therapists

Shortage Occupation List UK Education

Occupation codeJob Type
2442Social workers
2315Gaelic teachers for medium and professionals of teaching nursery and primary education
2314In Gaelic secondary teaching professionals
2314Secondary teaching professionals in maths, physics, foreign modern languages, science, and computer science.

Inclusion Criteria 

The following factors will be determined before adding a job in SOL:

  • The occupation must be categorized as a skilled job requiring special training and qualifications. 
  • Also, the job must have evidence of a shortage not filled with domestic recruitment.
  • Providing this job will benefit the UK economy. 

Benefits Of SOL

The shortage of occupations benefits both employers and employees.

Benefits Employer

  • Employers can effortlessly hire skilled workers on this visa to maintain business operations.
  • Hiring on SOL minimizes the cost of local hiring efforts and extensive advertisement.
  • Employers can employ talented workers from various backgrounds to leverage their businesses. 

Benefits Employee

  • Employees can easily navigate the immigration process through this route. 
  • SOL gives job security to the employee during the period they hire.
  • Moreover, the employees can contribute to the UK society to enhance their development prospects. 

Brexit Impact 

Due to Brexit, the free workers’ movement between the EU and the UK has ended and been impacted. Most people from the EU left the UK after this to increase the SOL because the jobs occupied by EU nationals are now empty, and the UK needs new international workers in those roles. However, the government assures talented EU nationals that they can still perform their duties in some positions. 


To conclude, the shortage of occupations in the UK in 2024 is the key to handling the labor shortage due to the shortage of domestic skilled workers. This list helps employers recruit talented and professional workers from overseas with a faster immigration process. Moreover, by providing job opportunities, the UK government secures its competitive economy and prevents economic barriers. Also, it is the best opportunity for information workers who aim to work in the UK and want to secure a visa and employment. The overall impact of SOL is positive, but in every visa route, there are some challenges that people need to solve with confidence and knowledge. 


What is the shortage occupation list in the UK?

The list identifies jobs for which skilled workers are unavailable in the UK. To fill this gap, employers used to hire international employees on skilled visas. According to market needs, the shortage occupation list is updated regularly with new job opportunities in various sectors such as IT, engineering, healthcare, professional services, education, etc. 

How does the  (SOL) benefit employers?

It simplifies hiring overseas employers for roles where domestic employees are unavailable. On SOL, employers face some restrictions and have to lower their costs while sponsoring visas for skilled overseas workers. In addition, this streamlined process helps employers to complete hiring for their company. 

Do visa applications get affected by the shortage of occupation lists in the UK?

Yes, visa applications are positively affected by SOL. Visa officers give priority to SOL visa applications to process quickly compared to other applications. This benefits both employer and employee, while the employer will face some bureaucratic hurdles. Furthermore, this is the best way to fill job vacancies with talented and skilled workers. 

Can international workers apply for SOL jobs?

Yes. The purpose of this list is to facilitate international skilled workers with certain eligibility conditions. Moreover, applying for a shortage occupation visa is quite easier than applying for other visa routes, as the application process is simple. There is nothing complex in this. On this route, skilled workers can quickly and easily live and work in the UK.  

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Our Head Solicitor
Khurram Amir Qureshi

Khurram Amir Qureshi has been an advocate of Pakistan since 2004, a Solicitor of England and Wales since 2009, Solicitor of Ireland since 2015. He has extensive experience in family law, Immigration law, Personal injury cases, and Civil and Commercial litigation gaining over 13 years of continuous practice in England and Wales.

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