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How candidates from overseas can help fill engineering skills gaps in the UK HVAC market

How candidates from overseas can help fill engineering skills gaps in the UK HVAC market

9 months ago

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​With the UK’s engineering skills gap showing no sign of narrowing, there is plenty that companies can do to take advantage of overseas talent – and opportunities to be had for candidates from abroad who are qualified in engineering.

We have supported job hunters from outside the UK to secure sponsorship, helping the companies we work with to secure talent from abroad to meet their resourcing needs.

New Civil Engineer magazine highlighted the issues around skills shortages and the need for overseas candidates earlier this year in its article Why the UK engineering sector needs overseas workers, reporting that the current surplus of vacancies stands at over 173,000.

Education and training at school and university level within the UK is something employers are keen to see addressed, although most acknowledge that it will take time. There are also calls for the process of sponsoring candidates from abroad to be simplified.

Opportunities for overseas candidates

The overseas candidates we have placed have been extremely well qualified. One recent applicant had an engineering degree in India as well as an MSc and PhD from a UK university. They were able to secure a role in the UK under a two-year licence and then apply for sponsorship.

Sponsoring an employee from abroad can be an onerous and costly process for an employer but If an employee has worked well for two years under licence, a company is far more likely to consider sponsorship so that they can keep them in the business.

How to stand apart at interview

As an overseas candidate, it is likely that you will have excellent qualifications as well as industry experience. This in itself will give you an opportunity to impress your interviewers.

We have strong relationships with the employers we work with so we’ll be able to tell you what elements of your background will be most useful to them, enabling you to focus your conversation around your most relevant strengths.


You may be applying from abroad or you could already be in the UK, either in another engineering role or having completed a recent degree. We can help you evaluate the implications of relocating, even if this simply involves moving to a different town or part of the country here in the UK. Weighing up the pros and cons might involve comparing the cost of living and housing in different areas, or travelling expenses, as opposed to working from home. With support from a specialist recruitment company like Thornhvac you can make sure you find the right role for you and your circumstances so that you can build a happy and successful career in HVAC, renewables or building services.

You might also be interested in reading our article on how engineering graduates can improve their chances of a career in the booming HVAC market.

Find out more about incentive packages in our blog What’s the difference between commission and bonus and which one is best?

Pick up some useful interview tips in our blog about how to answer the all important interview question – is there anything you’d like to ask us?

If you are a non-UK resident looking to develop your engineering career in the UK, call us on 0115 871 4777 or check out our latest HVAC sales jobs.