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EngineeringThe most recent survey by EngineeringUK reports that almost half of engineering firms felt ‘hard-to-fill’ vacancies were delaying the development of new products and services. At least 45% said they’d experienced increases in operating costs as a direct result of the skills shortage.

The resulting loss to the UK economy is £27 billion per year, purely because engineering firms can’t find the skilled staff they need. A shortfall of around 55,000 skilled engineers every year means that UK firms are losing out, struggling to find appropriately skilled engineers and paying a premium for them as a consequence of the high demand.

“The Aerospace and Electrical sectors are notably short of engineering skills,” explains Matthew Passmore, Head of Corporate UK Immigration at immigration specialists Permits2Work. Global demand for 27,000 new passenger aircraft and 40,000 commercial helicopters is expected to be worth close to £4 trillion by 2031. The UK’s 17% aerospace market share means that a significant portion of money is at stake if the UK doesn’t have the skills to deliver in that sector. Similarly, commitments to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 has spurred massive investment in the renewables and nuclear sector, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next decade, again limited by the UK’s skills shortage.

“The lack of engineering skills in the UK is damaging the UK economy as well as the engineering firms that contribute to it,” continues Matthew., “Engineering firms are increasingly looking abroad for experienced engineers, hiring skilled workers from other developed countries with strong engineering industries and professional development programmes where they cannot successfully resource these skills from within the UK.”

“The Home Office recognise that some engineering occupations are in national short supply, such as Nuclear, Construction-related ground engineering, Aerospace, Oil & Gas, Railways, Electricity transmission & distribution. This can make the application process more straightforward”.

Some engineering firms are still put off by the perceived difficulty of securing UK Visas, but the process will be made infinitely easier by using an immigration expert. Permits2Work is a Swindon-based UK immigration specialist with a wealth of experience advising businesses on the application process of recruiting skilled workers into the UK. “By using an immigration specialist, you save your business time, hassle and often money, as the cost of getting an application wrong can be prohibitive.”

To find out more about Permits2Work and the process of bringing skilled engineers into the UK call 01793 836010.