I'm not questioning *that*. I just mean, why would that even register on a shortage list? It's like saying "we don't have enough top models" or something? No doubt not everyone can do it, but if you look at the list, it sticks out and definitely made me go .
Top models aren't exactly the same thing as professional dancers, though. There's no minimum requirement for the number of top models needed, but if dance companies can't get enough dancers, they can't perform shows and the dancers can't make a living.
There are very, very few professional ballet dancers in the UK (I can only think of 2 famous British prima ballerinas in the last 100 years - Margot Fonteyn and Darcy Bussell!), but countries like Russia have considerably more. If a dance company needs a new lead dancer and they can't find one in the UK, then they have to look abroad for one - hence, the profession goes on the shortages list.
From a news article regarding dancers being on the list:'Ballet dancers tend not to have degrees either, which coupled with lowish entry-level pay means they too will hit problems with immigration. “If we need to get 50 points, we will struggle,” says Lynn Colledge of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, 30% of whose dancers come from outside Europe.
The government hopes the new system will force employers to hire Britons instead, but in some cases the supply is not there. Horse-trainers have offered gentler hours, higher pay and more generous weight limits, to no avail. The Birmingham Royal Ballet tries to recruit from British ballet schools—but many of those students are themselves foreigners. The government has realised that some sectors will fall outside the points system in this way, so it has appointed a panel of economists to draw up a list of occupations that will be allowed to skip it. This advisory committee will publish its list in June.
The panel's guidelines to employers say that to get on the list, they must show they have exhausted other options: attracting British workers with cushier conditions; mechanisation; offshoring; even changing their product. “This is likely to have consequences for the level of employment, prices and/or profitability of their business,” acknowledge the committee's guidelines. In some cases, industries will be allowed to decline. “It has been quite sobering,” admits Diane Coyle, a member of the panel.
What is still not clear—and what the boffins themselves have not yet decided—is how badly an industry ought to suffer before it is allowed to import the workers it needs. How ropey and expensive should the national ballet be allowed to become for the sake of employing British dancers? And how many Chinese take-aways ought to be allowed to close before they are allowed to import chefs?'