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Immigrants Are Filling One In Five Skilled Jobs In Great Britain

05 Nov 2013


Immigration News

According to a Government-backed report, immigrants are filling 1/5th of jobs in primary industries due to a shortage of skilled British graduates.

Companies are relying more and more on foreign skilled workers in a variety of ‘strategically important’ areas.

All in all, immigrants account for 20% of workers in fields like aerospace manufacturing, oil and gas extraction, and optical, computer and electronic engineering.

The report shows that half of the 119 occupations displayed on the Government’s ‘shortage occupation list’ – which gives businesses special dispensation to hire foreign workers –need engineering skills.

Another 20% involve technical and scientific roles.

The report states that the shortage is so intense that universities are also packing courses with international applicants, with 1/3rd of places in technology and engineering subjects taken by non-British students.

Published by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the review calls for radical action to fulfill the ‘substantial demand’ for engineers.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics this year pointed out that the number of expats finding jobs in the UK had raised by 225,000 and reached 4.26 Million in a year.

Business leaders have warned repeatedly regarding the severe shortage of qualified people to fill engineering jobs, with the inventor and entrepreneur, Sir James Dyson, warning last year that around 217,000 engineers will be needed within 5 years to fill the shortage in workforce.

The report drafts the extent of Britain’s dependency on international workers to boost primary industries.

It says Britain presently relies on immigration for engineering skills and added that immigrants account for 20% of professionals in strategically influential sectors.

The report gladly receives the fact that the Government is allowing employers to import engineers from outside UK in primary areas where there is a shortage.

The report adds that many employers are forced to look out of country for workers with the experience and expertise needed to preserve their businesses, and it is clear that immigration will continue to be a paramount source of engineering skills for some time to come.

To address the skills shortage, the Government announced an £18 million investment in a new elite training facility at Coventry’s Manufacturing Technology Centre and a £30 million fund to train staff for employers.

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable said that Engineering will play a vital role in the future of UK Industry, and it is crucial to act now to make sure businesses can access the skills they need to enable their growth. He said that as it cannot be done alone, they are calling on education professionals and employers to get involved and inspire the next generation of engineers.


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