The engineering sector has a well documented struggle with a skills shortage. Slightly less well documented are the concerns about the calibre of STEM graduates. According the Engineering UK’s 2015 report, 48% of employers have concerns about the quality of STEM graduates making this more of an issue than the shortage, which concerns a slightly lower 46% of employers.
The largest concern is a lack of general workplace experience, with weaknesses in the attitudes and aptitudes for working life a not too distant second. The Government has taken steps to improve the quality of STEM graduates by funding various programmes, schemes and plans, but for the engineering company of today, this is a long-term solution to an immediate problem. So what’s the alternative to hiring STEM graduates?
“An increasing number of businesses are looking abroad for skilled workers to fill specialised engineering positions” explains Matthew Passmore, Head of Corporate Immigration at immigration specialists Permits2Work. “We’re finding a wide range of engineering businesses, large and small, are coming to us for advice on bringing staff in from other countries where skills shortages are less of an issue. STEM graduates are often not experienced enough for the skilled vacancies engineering firms are trying to fill, but experienced candidates with the right skills and specialisms are being overlooked just because they live outside the EU.”
The main barrier for UK engineering companies is the immigration process which can prove time consuming, stressful and often costly, with failed applications costing upwards of £1000. “Working with an immigration specialist saves you time and can help you get your candidate in place faster. By managing the process from the beginning, we can help you ensure your application moves smoothly through the immigration process, jumping through all the right hoops at the right times.”
For more information on corporate immigration and how experienced, specialised non-EU workers can reduce your reliance on STEM graduates, contact Permits2Work on 01793 836010.