The engineering and technology sector is facing a growing recruitment crisis and there is little confidence that the problem will improve in the short or medium term the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) warned.
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The IET's annual skills survey of 500 companies also revealed that businesses are turning to countries such as India, China and South Africa to plug the skills gap with 48% of companies recruiting from overseas in the last 12 months to cover specific skills shortages.
Business that expect to face difficulties in recruiting suitably qualified engineers, technicians or technologists over the next four years had risen from 40.2% in 2006 to 51.8% in 2007.
Paul Jackson, director of professional operations at the IET, said: "The engineering and technology sector is vital to the future prosperity of the UK's economy and an increase in skills shortages puts the future growth, success and competitive advantage of many businesses into serious doubt. The UK desperately needs to increase the pool of engineers and technicians to meet demand."
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