16 February 2011

IChemE issues cautious welcome to new UK migration rules


IChemE has cautiously welcomed the provision for scientists and engineers in the UK Government Agency’s newly-announced rules on skilled migrants.

The new rules apply to ‘Tier 2’ migrants, limited to 20,700/y, who must have a graduate level job on offer paying at least a threshold salary.

The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CASE) reports that any applicants for a PhD (or equivalent) level position will be given preferential treatment, such that a PhD-level applicant earning £23,000/y would be admitted before a non-PhD-level applicant earning £74,000/y.  Applicants for a job on the official shortage occupations list are also given vastly preferential treatment.  All chemical engineer posts are on the shortage list, thanks to intensive advocacy by IChemE ceo David Brown over more than two years.

The new rules do not apply to ‘Tier 1’ migrants, the category for individuals of exceptional talent.  There are only 1000 visas available under this category in the first year across all job categories. Brown says that he will work with colleagues from other organisations to ensure the migration of top scientists and engineers can continue in sufficient numbers. 

Brown commented “We must show Governments how critical engineers and scientists are to universities and industry.  And we need to keep updating the evidence that chemical engineers are in demand, and that skilled migration is a good thing.  Our industries are global, our companies are global, our challenges are global – and to tackle them, engineers should be mobile around the world”.

My IChemE

IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).