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Ground engineering retains position on shortage occupation lists

Campaigns led by Ground Forum, the Geological Society and the Royal Astronomical Society have been successful in maintaining job titles associated with ground engineering on the Migration Advisory Committee’s(MAC) shortage occupation lists.

According to the latest MAC report, the evidence received from Ground Forum, the Geological Society and the Royal Astronomical Society “is sufficient enough for us to recommend that the following job titles within the construction-related ground engineering industry be retained on the shortage occupation list: geotechnical engineer; tunnelling engineer; engineering geologist; hydrogeologist; geophysicist; contaminated land specialist; geoenvironmental specialist; landfill engineer.”

Securing the position of these job titles on the shortage occupation lists will help employers to recruit staff from outside of the UK and ease immigration issues.

There had been fears that ground engineering may be removed from the list after government requested MAC to look at the potential to automatically remove occupations after two years. However, the MAC has said that although the listing should not be used as a substitute for investing in “British human capital”, removing occupations after two years is a disproportionate response.

In including more engineering job titles in this year’s review, MAC chairman David Metcalfe said: “It is important that the shortage occupation list is used as a signal by, for example, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (University sector), the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and individual companies when deciding their skills priorities.

“The MAC wishes to draw the attention of these funding bodies to the increase in the number of engineering job titles on both this 2013 list and the previous 2011 list. By contrast, job titles in the health sector have consistently been removed from the shortage occupation list as the UK is able to supply the requisite skills thanks to the substantial investment in health training over the last decade.”

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