The number of engineers coming to the UK from outside the European Union has risen by more than a third this year, research has revealed.
Home Office figures obtained by SJD Accountancy showed that 1,171 non-EU engineers received work permits for this country in 2013/14.
This was up from 859 in the previous year, as companies were forced to look outside the Union to fill vacancies.
SJD chief executive Simon Curry said: “Skill shortages are an on-going worry in the engineering sector, but despite widespread awareness of the severity of the issue, little progress is being made.
“These numbers show that investment in infrastructure, which the government has earmarked for significant expansion over the coming decades, is at risk if the UK is unable to match demand for engineering skills. Skill shortages cause delays and push up costs for contractors.”
He added: “We are still seeing too many UK-trained engineers choosing other careers or leaving the country after they have qualified.”