As reported by both The Times and The Guardian, ministers have asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) for advice on whether the hospitality, construction and retail industries should be on the list of sectors where there is a shortage of workers.
The list, which was last reviewed in 2020, sets out the skilled jobs for which there is a short supply of domestic workers and makes it easier to recruit people from abroad.
It does this primarily by reducing the salary threshold under which foreign workers are able to qualify for a skilled worker visa to come to Britain. While the salary threshold is £25,600 at present, roles on the shortage occupation list can be offered at £20,480 or at a 20% discount, whichever is higher. It also reduces the cost for businesses to sponsor a visa for a foreign worker.
Labour market data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last month revealed that vacancy rates across hospitality are still 72% higher than they were pre-pandemic.
According to The Times, one source suggested that chefs and restaurant and hotel managers were roles that would probably be added. Chefs were previously included, but were taken off in April 2021.
It is believed the review could add more roles to the shortage occupation list within weeks.