ENGINEERING FIRMS have slammed trade associations for not ensuring that key civil engineering jobs are included on the latest round of the National Shortage Occupation List, issued by the Home Office.
The list does not include any rail, structural or bridge engineers, and only two transportation or highways engineering roles.
According to the list the jobs in shortage are limiting economic growth and non-EU visa applicants with those skills are given priority to come and work in the UK.
Infrastructure Forum chairman Andrew McNaughton believes that the consequences for the engineering sector are clear. 'The government is putting a limiter on the sector, ' he said, urging the Home Office to consult businesses rather than industry bodies. 'I understand it took advice from the ICE, but the ICE do not employ anyone, ' he said.
'It is a strange thing to do when after several years of decline, civil engineering demonstrated growth in 2006 and accelerated growth up to 2009, ' he said.
The Home Office consults 'advisory panels' and publishes a constantly changing list of skills in shortage based upon the recommendations of these panels. Both the ICE and the Association for Consultancy and Engineers (ACE) are on the engineering panel, along with 15 other bodies and only one firm - Hyder.
A spokesperson for ACE said it would be 'making representations to make sure the Home Offi e have the right information'.
ailway engineers were removed from the list on 18 December, a decision the ACE describe as, 'perplexing', adding that 'skills shortage is the biggest single issue in the industry, and we are very surprised to see those occupations removed'.
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