Brexit & Engineering

etf-eu-report-cover-1The Royal Academy of Engineering published a report entitled “Engineering a future outside the EU: securing the best outcome for the UK”.

The report highlights the challenge that Brexit could present to the supply of skilled engineers from the EU, who are essential to maintaining the world-class quality and success of UK engineering companies and universities. In academia, engineering has proportionally more staff originating from the EU (15%), than across all subjects as a whole.

The report applauds the government’s renewed focus on industrial strategy, but warns that Brexit must not choke off access to the engineering skills from across Europe that the UK economy needs.

The report draws on wide-ranging consultation with engineers from all section of the profession, including academia, industry and the public sector. With engineering contributing at least £280 billion in gross value added to the economy – 20% of the total – the report flags up key issues that impact on the UK’s engineering capability as the government forms a view on the EU exit negotiations.

The report findings emphasize that uncertainty about the status of EU workers in the UK and further risks to the supply of skilled engineers are likely to result in delays to major infrastructure projects, which will face recruitment difficulties and increasing costs if demand for labor outstrips supply.

In response to these potential challenges, the report calls on government and the engineering community to work together to take decisive action on the engineering skills crisis, as well as to develop a Shortage Occupation List for engineering positions that cannot be filled domestically in the short term. It advocates straightforward solutions such as temporary visas for skilled engineers from EU countries with the specialist skills that the UK lacks.

The report also calls on the UK government to extend procedures for intra-company transfers to cover EU citizens, as many companies require their engineers to move freely to support and fulfil contracts.

To read the report, click HERE

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