The UK’s growing skills shortage problem is bringing an increased number of non-EU engineers to the country. Skilled British worker numbers are simply failing to keep up with demand.
Over the last year, the number of foreign engineers has jumped up 36% to meet the country’s needs. In 2012/13, just 859 arrived here, while in 2013/14 1,171 had made the trip from beyond the European continent.
The figures are based off applications for jobs on the National Shortage Occupation List. Run by the Home Office, it allows employers to offer jobs to overseas applicants without filling out the Residential Labour Market Test. The numbers above are how many permits were granted to applicants of jobs on the shortage list.
All in all, the process means employers in the UK can bring in workers from overseas easier and quicker for jobs they just can’t fill with people from the UK. What the list doesn’t include is the numbers of foreign workers companies are bringing in outside of the shortage list.
It is a clear sign that the UK is still suffering from a lack of homegrown talent and a distinct skills shortage. With fewer workers in the country with the necessary skills, companies have no other choice but to look further afield.
It is good news for British workers who do have the skills though as they have seen demand, and along with it pay, rise as employers struggle to fill the gaps. In turn though, if companies can’t find the employees to function, everyone gets hit.
Last month, the UK’s construction industry saw 7 months of strong growth, but there were fears this would falter as companies were struggling to find workers to sustain expansion.
Image by Donnie Nunley.