Institution responds to government’s economic migration consultation.
ICE is bringing together an expert panel of Institution Members to respond to the Government’s consultation on the level at which to set the first annual limit on economic migration.
The proposed cap would limit the number of skilled engineers the UK can bring into the country from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to help deliver vital infrastructure projects.
Although the recession has impacted negatively on the sector, ICE’s initial findings indicate that making the shift to a decarbonised economy will require a heightened level of specialist civil engineering skills in coming years that cannot currently be met domestically.
While ICE is actively helping industry develop our indigenous skills base, this is a lengthy process - for example it takes around 18 years to train to be a nuclear engineer. Until a fully functional indigenous skills base can be achieved it would be detrimental to the UK’s long-term economic productivity to restrict in the short-term the number of skilled workers vital for key infrastructure projects in the short-term.
Not just a UK problem
It is also evident that this is not just a UK problem. Civil engineering is a global profession with specialists moving around the globe from project to project to fill shortages in other countries. The UK must consider global market conditions before setting potentially damaging national economic migration limits, the ICE said.
International skills shortages mean attracting the very best engineers to work on UK projects is already harder than it has been in the past.
ICE’s 2008 State of the Nation: Capacity and Skills report found that globalisation, together with increased demand is set to exacerbate the skills and capacity crisis facing the industry, fuelling international competition for already strained resources.
- ICE welcomes written submissions from members who have evidence and/or case studies to support the ICE response. Please visit ice.org.uk/economicmigration for more information and the opportunity to contribute. All submissions must be received by Friday 27 August 2010.