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The government’s addition of landscape architects to the shortage occupation list (SOL) follows lobbying by the Landscape Institute (LI).

Welcoming the move Hannah Garrow, LI policy & influencing manager, explains below what it means for members and practitioners.

The government has accepted in full the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report. The MAC published its review of the SOL in May 2019, recommending that the list be expanded to include ‘architects’ (SOC code 2431, which includes landscape architects). Architecture ranked 7th in the shortage indicators.

A campaign in December 2018 noted that recruitment, especially at senior level, has become much more difficult. This reflects the findings of the LI’s Future of Landscape (2018) report which found that 41% of practice heads found recruitment a key challenge.

What does this mean for LI members?

The SOL includes occupations that are facing a shortage of skilled workers.

Employers recruiting for roles on the SOL gain three major advantages:

  • The company is not required to go through the Resident Labour Market Test when advertising vacancies, saving time and money.
  • Jobs advertised are not required to meet the five-year salary threshold for settlement which is currently £35,000.
  • If the migration limit for Tier 2 (General) visas is reached in any period, priority is given to roles on the list.

What is the LI doing?

The MAC recommendation noted that the current shortages can be overcome in the foreseeable future through continued change in recruitment practices, pay and other measures.

Partnering with schools and universities was seen as an important way to promote the profession.

The LI launched the #ChooseLandscape campaign last year and is working with universities on accredited courses and with members through its ambassadors programme to promote the career.

During the last year, the LI has supported a group of employers to create apprenticeship programmes in England which will be available from 2020. The LI is also committed to exploring similar programmes in the other UK nations.

To discuss skills shortages of #ChooseLandscape contact Hannah Garrow: Hannah.garrow@landscapeinstitute.org