Government confirms landscape architecture will be added to Shortages Occupation List

The Home Office has confirmed that landscape architects will be added to the Shortages Occupation List (SOL), which will make it easier to recruit professionals from outside the UK following Brexit.

Elephant Park, the President's Award winner at The Landscape Institute Awards 2018. Image: Churchman Landscape Architects

The move follows lobbying by the Landscape Institute and others in the landscape industry, alongside RIBA and architects. The two trade organisations alongside a number of landscape architecture practices and individuals gave evidence to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which published its review of the SOL on 29 May

It found that ‘architects and systems designers’, which includes landscape architects, were the seventh in the list of occupations with the most shortages, after nurses, medical practitioners, natural and social science professionals, Programmers and software development professionals, management consultants and business analysts, and IT business analysts.

Home secretary Sajid Javid has now said in a written statement that the Government would accept all the MAC’s recommendations and the necessary amendments will be made in the Autumn Immigration Rules changes.

Architecture shortages received 62 mentions in the evidence submitted to the committee. Most of these comments were about landscape architects.

Being on the SOL means that now that when advertising for new workers, companies will not need to go through the Resident Labour Market Test. And crucially, jobs advertised will not need to meet the five-year salary threshold of £35,000, which professionals pointed out was too high for junior roles. The development also means that if the migration limit for Tier 2 (General) visas is reached, priority is given to roles on the list.

In 2018, the Landscape Institute’s Future of Landscape report found 41% of practice heads said recruitment was a key challenge for their businesses. The Landscape Institute launched its #ChooseLandscape campaign to attract people into the landscape industry in 2018.

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