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ICE to accredit refugee engineers

REFUGEE ENGINEERS are to get help to become ICE members under plans being drawn up by the Institution.

The move could help them get work as civil engineers at a time when the industry is faced with crippling skill shortages.

The ICE is in discussion with the Refugee Education & Training Advisory Service (RETAS), to develop a process of accreditation of past experience and qualifications that would be recognised by British employers.

Without such an accreditation, refugee engineers are forced to put their skills aside as they seek work.

Engineering is one of the most common professions among refugees, especially those from the Middle East, explained RETAS director Andy Gregg.

'In London we see 2,500 people each year, and 200 to 300 of these are engineers.'

Refugees with other professions - such as doctors - already have a clear if complex route to accreditation. But in engineering there is no such route, forcing some refugees to return to university to get a UK qualification.

The ICE believes that its newly approved Career Appraisal-Academic Review could be used to establish competence and provide employers with the reassurance needed to provide valuable UK experience.

'The Career Appraisal-Academic Review process would seem to fit the bill, ' said ICE professional development director Jon Prichard. 'Through this we are linking supply to demand.'

To progress the proposal, the ICE has invited RETAS to make a presentation to the next meeting of the influential Civils Training Group of training managers from major civils firms, in March.

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