Overseas workers are necessary for the UK’s current engineering sector

10 mins

With a significant shortage of skills affecting the UK’s economy across many different...

Mane Engineering and Manufacturing Team

By Mane Engineering and Manufacturing Team

With a significant shortage of skills affecting the UK’s economy across many different sectors, businesses are finding it difficult to fill vacancies with the necessary talent. These shortages are due to a mixture of factors such as Brexit and the pandemic.

One sector in particular which is struggling is the engineering sector and there’s no doubt that an efficiently run engineering sector is vital to the UK economy, On top of this, engineering is key to helping the UK transition towards the UN’s deadline of halving carbon emissions by 2030.

Engineering leaders in the UK feel that promoting STEM subjects at school could be a useful method for attracting young people into the engineering career sector. Whilst this may be a useful method, it is a long-term solution, and right now the country needs a short-term solution.

One short-term solution which has been suggested is to search for overseas workers who already can offer the talent and skills the UK is searching for. A downside to this strategy is that UK employers who wish to hire overseas workers will have a few legal battles to face before they can hire. These battles include obtaining a sponsor licence which allows them to hire workers from outside of the UK, as well as these new hires from overseas having to obtain a UK work visa.

For employers to obtain the essential licences and visas for their overseas workers, it is an extremely time-consuming and expensive process, which sadly puts many UK employers off. This, of course, leads to companies keeping their vacancy search within the UK, where there remains a shortage of skilled workers.

Therefore, new technology and processes need to be introduced by the government to help with the shortage of skills in the engineering sector.

Research suggests that the UK has a shortage of all STEM skills, which is why encouraging overseas workers is vital for the country’s solution to the shortage of skills in the engineering sector. The solution lies in the hands of the government. The government need to make the immigration process easier for immigrants as well as UK employers who wish to hire overseas.

An example of a country that produces highly skilled engineers, is the USA, which host the highest number of Ivy League schools in engineering. Therefore, the USA generates some of the best engineers in the world. An easier and more simple process needs set in place to make it easier for the UK to employ these engineers within the UK.

If the UK were able to easily obtain these skilled engineers, then the engineering sector crisis within the UK could be solved.

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