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Migrant workers still relied on for skilled engineering jobs

In an interesting report published earlier this month it was revealed that the UK based skilled engineering firms are becoming increasingly reliant on foreign workers to fill vacant positions, according to a report in the Telegraph.

The review, which was backed by the Government, found that many companies in “strategically important” areas such as oil and gas extraction or electronic engineering, are being compelled to hire immigrant workers due to a lack of appropriately qualified UK workers.

The lack of qualified British workers is being blamed on a lack of children pursuing maths and science subjects to a higher level, with up to a third of engineering and technology courses at British universities being filled by foreign students.

The report pointed to the fact that of the 119 jobs specified on the Tier 2 shortage occupation list, half are dominated by engineering jobs, while another 20% of those specified are in “closely related scientific and technical areas”. The Tier 2 shortage occupation list allows workers to come to the UK with a skilled job offer to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker.

The report also highlights that there is no quick fix to the problem, saying that, “Many employers have been forced to look overseas for workers with the expertise and experience needed to sustain their businesses and it is clear that migration will continue to be an important source of engineering skills for some time to come.”

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