A full review of the shortage occupation list, which highlights occupations where there is a national shortage and migration rules should be relaxed accordingly, has recommended that psychologists are added.
Sarb Bajwa, Chief Executive of the British Psychological Society, said:
‘The Migration Advisory Committee’s decision to add psychologists to the shortage occupation list for the first time in a decade is just the latest evidence to show that we are simply not training enough psychologists in the United Kingdom.
‘Psychologists have rightly been placed at the heart of the NHS Long Term Plan, but patients will only see the benefit of increased access to evidence-based psychological treatment if there are trained psychologists available to administer it.
‘If the recommendations of the committee are accepted and psychologists are added to the list, some restrictions on overseas psychologists moving to and working in the UK will be removed.
‘This would be welcome as it is clear that a national shortage, as suggested by the review, requires urgent action, but would only be a sticking plaster and would not deal with the underlying issues which are creating unfilled vacancies.
‘That this shortage of psychologists exists despite psychology being one of the most popular subjects at undergraduate level indicates that there are clear failings when it comes to funding and encouraging the development of psychologists to deliver high quality services for all.’