Commenting on the publication of the government's white paper on immigration, The UK’s future skills-based immigration system, Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

“Reviewing immigration policy gives the UK an opportunity to attract those with the necessary skills to strengthen the economy and deliver on the industrial strategy. There is a well-known engineering skills shortage that cannot be wholly met by home grown talent, especially not in the short and medium term. Removing the cap on the number of skilled workers, which includes engineers, is therefore a welcome proposal.

“Engineering has a particularly mobile workforce. Engineering companies tend to recruit from a global talent pool and engineers are in high demand internationally. Access to skilled workers is a critical issue for engineering and it is vital that businesses can hire the workers they need at all skills levels regardless of whether they meet the proposed £30,000 salary threshold. This includes technicians and teachers of STEM subjects who help inspire future engineers. We welcome the proposed consultation on this threshold.

“Whatever new policies are implemented, companies in the UK, and in particular small businesses, need to be given enough time to adjust to changes in immigration policy so that they have the right skills in place when they need them. We look forward to further clarity on the changes and how they will be implemented.”

Notes to Editors

Royal Academy of Engineering

As the UK’s national academy for engineering and technology, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers from academia and business – our Fellows – to advance and promote excellence in engineering for the benefit of society.

We harness their experience and expertise to provide independent advice to government, to deliver programmes that help exceptional engineering researchers and innovators realise their potential, to engage the public with engineering and to provide leadership for the profession. 

We have three strategic priorities:

  • Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation and businesses
  • Address the engineering skills and diversity challenge
  • Position engineering at the heart of society

We bring together engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, educators and the public in pursuit of these goals.

Engineering is a global profession, so we work with partners across the world to advance engineering’s contribution to society on an international, as well as a national scale.

For more information please contact: Victoria Runcie at the Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. 020 7766 0620; email: Victoria.Runcie@raeng.org.uk