Last week’s poll: immigration and engineering

By a narrow margin, Engineer readers support a points-based immigration system to ensure that industry can recruit skilled engineers from overseas

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The subject of immigration was a contentious and divisive one throughout the EU Referendum campaign, and continues to divide readers of The Engineer. The leading option in last week’s poll changed almost hourly over the course of the week, and the result remained close until the end. With a strong response from 543 respondents, there was no overall majority, but the leading option with 43 per cent of the vote was for a points-based immigration system which, presumably, would favour the qualified people required to fill specialised vacancies in the engineering and manufacturing sectors, among others. The second-placed option, on 40 per cent – only 16 votes behind – was for free movement of EU nationals, the system that remains n place until the UK leaves the European Union.

The rest of the options were all in single percentage point figures and none attracted more than 40 votes. The next option, on 7 per cent, was that we should accept tariffs on trade as a trade-off to limit immigration; almost certainly not an option that would please our larger exporters. While 6 per cent declined to pick an option, 5 per cent said that UK industry should look to fill its vacancies from the Commonwealth nations which, with the formidable output of qualified engineers from Indian universities, would presumably lead to an increase in immigration from the sub-continent.

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Chart12July2016