Visit Brexit microsite
Skip to main content

What are the skills shortages in the marine industry?

Published on: 15 November 2018


The UK marine industry has long dealt with a wide range of skills shortages. And over the years many British Marine member companies have been unable to fill roles because they don’t feature on the Government’s Shortage Occupation List (SOL). At the Government’s instruction, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is undertaking a full review of the composition of the SOL (what roles are listed in it) and has issued a call for evidence that British Marine members need to respond to.

The SOL comprises occupations and job titles held to be in shortage either across the UK, or in Scotland only, where it would be sensible to fill through non-EEA migration. Job titles on the SOL are not required to undertake the Resident Labour Market Test or meet the five-year salary threshold for settlement.

To be eligible for the SOL, occupations and job titles must:

  • show demonstrable national shortages that cannot be filled from within the domestic labour market
  • be skilled to the required level set by the Home Office; and
  • demonstrate that it is sensible to seek to fill vacancies with migrant labour from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA)

The MAC is adopting a new approach to its call for evidence and engagement with stakeholders. It is focussing on specific job titles rather than broader occupations and requires evidence that supports this approach. The evidence produced by stakeholders is very important in helping to assess which job titles are in shortage. The MAC ask that all respondents to this call for evidence complete an online form that will comprise their evidence to this review of the SOL.

The Online Survey is quite simple and requires businesses to provide information on the job titles they struggle to fill, salary/wages, experience required, and the issues faced when trying to find the right talent to fill the role. The Call for Evidence will close on 6 January 2019.

The Call for Evidence document can be viewed and downloaded here.

The current rules around the SOL are available to view rel="noopener noreferrer" here.

British Marine members with any questions about this Call for Evidence or about the work British Marine is doing to support skills and careers across the marine industry may contact Andrew Harries, Head of External Relations at or Blue Davies, Head of Training at