Psychologists should be on the Shortage Occupation List

Ella Rhodes reports.

There is a nationwide shortage of psychologists, with vacancy rates on the rise, and the profession should be added to the Shortage Occupation List according to the Migration Advisory Committee. If added, migration rules would be relaxed for psychologists and other professions on the list hoping to move to work in the UK from areas outside the European Economic Area.

The last time psychologists were included on the list was between September 2008 and October 2009, and while the committee reports that the number of psychologists in the NHS has been stable since 2009 there were 698 psychologist vacancies in 2016 and 694 in 2017. If psychologists are included on the list it would mean professionals from overseas would not need to meet the salary threshold of £35,800 to settle after five years and would pay lower visa application fees.

Psychology is one of the most popular degrees for undergraduate students in the UK and some have pointed to a lack of funding for further training as being partly to blame for the shortage of psychologists. Many who responded to the committee’s call for evidence also pointed to lower EU migration and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit as having an impact on recruitment. 

BPS Members can discuss this article

Already a member? Or Create an account

Not a member? Find out about becoming a member or subscriber