QSs must wait to find out if they will be dropped from a visa scheme to alleviate skills shortages
Quantity surveyors must wait to find out if they will be dropped from a visa scheme to alleviate skills shortages after it emerged the government had indefinitely delayed publication of new rules.
Publication of a revised National Shortage Occupation List, which gives people qualified in certain professions priority in UK visa applications, was pushed back from June to the first week of August. But the Home Office admitted it would miss the deadline and said there was “no fixed date” for publication. The list will be used to implement the points-based system for skilled workers that comes into force in the autumn.
It is possible that the market downturn would lead the government to remove QSs from the list, to which they were added last July. But the RICS insisted the skills shortage was still a problem.
Damian Cleghorn, a policy officer at the body, said: “The feeling is the downturn will have an effect but not a big enough one to take the shortage away.” The RICS said there were 6,468 QS vacancies in January 2007 and that almost half stayed vacant for more than six months.
Rob Smith, senior partner at Davis Langdon, said: “The long-term view should not be clouded by the short-term situation.”