THE HOME Office is set to make it easier for civil engineers from outside the European Union to work in the UK, NCE can reveal.
The imminent move to officially classify civil engineering as a skills shortage follows a recent test case when UK employment agency Anders Elite convinced the Home Office that a South African highways engineer possessed skills in short supply in the UK.
Staff from Anders' Bristol office said this week that they strengthened their case by submitting material that included copies of stories from NCE detailing industry skills shortages.
At present, employers wishing to take on engineers from non European Union countries have to prove that an EU engineer can not fill the vacancy.
Employers have to advertise the position in the trade press in what, they claim, can be a long and frustrating process.
The Home Office classifies certain employment sectors as being in short supply. These include people qualified in information technology, communications and certain electronic engineers.
Employers wishing to bring in people qualified in these sectors do not have to show that they have advertised the positions, making it a far quicker process.
Home Office officials this week confirmed that a decision to include civil engineering on this list was expected within the next few weeks following recent recommendations from a panel that included industry representatives.