Orchestral musician jobs in the UK that are not for leaders or principals of internationally recognised orchestras are likely to be removed from the country's shortage occupation list. The UK Border Agency's Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is making the removal recommendation to government after publishing its third partial review of occupations where shortages in skilled labour mean that migration could help meet the needs of the economy.

The latest recommendation marks a change in policy from MAC's first review in April 2009, on the back of which all skilled orchestral musicians were added to the shortage occupation list, making it much easier for UK orchestras to hire any player from outside the European Economic Area. The Musicians' Union had strongly opposed the decision, arguing that it had yet to be convinced of there being a shortage of orchestral musicians in the UK.

MAC is due to publish a full review of the shortage occupation lists in autumn 2010.