Kingsley Napley submission to MAC on proposed graduate occupation list under Tier 2

27 January 2011

Last Friday was the deadline for submissions to the MAC regarding the review of the Graduate Occupation List which will be used in the UK Border Agency's plans for changes to Tier 2 of the Points Based System from April 2011. We have responded on behalf of our clients with a written submission supported by comprehensive research. 

We were particularly concerned that the current Graduate Occupation List and the list which the MAC is considering using are both out of date and do not reflect the UK's current jobs marketplace. The UK's economy has changed dramatically in the last ten years and the structure of its jobs market has also changed considerably. With the widely publicised expansion of the higher education sector in the UK, increasing numbers of young people now obtain degrees and high numbers also obtain post-graduate qualifications. As a result, a degree-level qualification has become necessary for entry into many careers where previously the possession of a degree used not to be a prerequisite. The Guardian newspaper in July 2010 reported that 78% of employers now insist on a 2:1 degree. The range of jobs for which a degree is not needed has therefore greatly reduced.

We made specific submissions regarding the inaccurate classification of the following occupations as 'borderline' graduate occupations on the list being considered by the MAC:

  • Brokers;
  • Financial investment analysts and advisers;
  • Financial institution managers;
  • Taxation experts;
  • Customer care managers; and
  • Graphic designers.

We supported this with research which clearly showed that these occupations are being recruited at graduate level.

In addition we made submissions regarding those occupations graded from 1 to 3 on the list being considered by the MAC. We confirmed that these occupations, which includes solicitors, should be included in the Graduate Occupation List as it applies to Tier 2 from April 2011. We emphasised that the following occupations which are classified from 1 to 3 should also be covered:

  • Architects;
  • Marketing and sales managers;
  • Journalists, newspapers and periodical editors;
  • Information and communication technology managers;
  • Marketing associate professionals;
  • Engineering professionals;
  • Business and related associate professionals;
  • Directors and Chief Executive Officers;
  • Financial Managers and Chartered Secretaries;
  • Engineers, design and development;
  • Engineers, production and process;
  • Consultants, actuaries, economists and statisticians;
  • Human Resource;
  • Chartered and certified accountants;
  • Management accountants;
  • Research and development managers; and
  • Researchers not elsewhere covered.

We stressed to the MAC that, at a time when British businesses are attempting to grow despite ongoing economic conditions, it is fundamentally important that the new Graduate Occupation List accurately reflects the current reality of their recruitment policies.

As the MAC has conceded in its letter dated 17 December 2010, timescales did not allow for a full call for evidence. We submitted that this was disappointing given the importance of the Graduate Occupation List to the ability of UK employers to recruit the brightest and best from around the world and thus enable an economic recovery led by the private sector. 

We now wait to see how the MAC will respond and will keep you informed of any developments.

For more information, please contact Nicolas Rollason at or +44 (0)20 7814 1276.

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