UK Eases Rules To Allow Foreigners In Nuclear Industry

UK eases immigration rules to allow foreigners in nuclear industry

June 10, 2008

London (PTI): Faced with a shortage of skilled workers in the nuclear industry, Britain has relaxed immigration rules that will now enable anyone from across the world, including India, to apply for jobs in the sector.

The relaxation will help fill 60,000 jobs likely to be created in the industry in the near future.

The government has not yet relaxed immigration rules to recruit chefs from the Indian sub-continent, despite demands from the three billion-pound industry.

The nuclear industry jobs have been added to the 'national shortage occupation list', which makes it easier for employers to recruit from outside the European Union.

The Home Office has added 27 categories of electricity generation engineering jobs – including several nuclear specialisms such as reactor physicists and nuclear design engineers.

The relaxation, however, has been criticised by unions.

Gary Smith, national officer for the GMB union, told the BBC: “We would be very, very concerned if people in the communities where the nuclear industry already exists are not going to benefit.

“There's a huge opportunity to educate and regenerate. What we will fight is any attempt to bring labour into the UK and to bring it in on the cheap.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are determined to ensure that those people coming to work in the UK have the right skills to benefit Britain and are coming here to contribute.”

He said that the recently established Migration Advisory Committee would “in future advise ministers on where migration might sensibly fill gaps in the UK labour market”.