TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, has today welcomed the Government’s announcement to expand the shortage occupation list (SOL) to include a range of occupations that will benefit the UK video games industry.
The SOL comprises occupations and job titles held to be in shortage across the UK. Job titles on the SOL are not required to undertake the Resident Labour Market Test or meet the five-year salary threshold for settlement. Following a full review of the SOL earlier this year, the MAC’s recommendations included retaining and adding a number of games-related roles.
On 9 September 2019, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Immigration, Seema Kennedy MP, announced that the UK’s Immigration Rules have now been legally changed to reflect the MAC’s recommendations.
The expansion of the SOL includes:
- Programmers and Software Development Professionals code (2136) to include all jobs in this occupation code including Games Designers.
- Web Design and Development Professionals code (2137) to include all jobs in this occupation code, including UX and VFX Designers.
- Artists code (3411) to include all jobs in this occupation code.
- Graphic Designers code (3421) to include all jobs in this occupation code.
- Arts Officers, Producers and Directors code (3416) to include all jobs in this occupation code.
- Expansion of IT Business Analysts, Architects and System Designers code (2135) to include all jobs in this occupation code.
The changes mean people coming to the UK to work in occupations that appear on the SOL can secure a Tier 2 work visa over those coming to work in occupations that are not on the list. It also means that employers can advertise job vacancies for the occupations included to all nationalities as soon as they are available, making it easier for them to access the international talent they need.
A full list of changes made to the UK’s immigration rules can be found here.
In response to this announcement, Dr Richard Wilson OBE said:
“TIGA welcomes the Government’s desire to continue to attract the best and brightest global talent to the UK. Many of the role added to the SOL are in line with the recommendations put forward by TIGA within our written evidence submission to the MAC, it is therefore great to see these recommendations coming into force.
“TIGA research indicates that 20 per cent of people working in the UK video games industry are EU nationals, with 5 per cent coming from the rest of the world. If the UK games industry is to remain world leading after Brexit, it is crucial that barriers to recruiting talented individuals are removed.
“Expanding the Shortage Occupation List will allow UK games businesses to hire non-UK workers to fill high and medium skilled roles, tackling skills shortages across our industry.”