Police Checks for Global Engineering Jobs
By Space Coast Daily // June 17, 2021
Engineering is one of the most in demand professions around the world, and this situation is likely to persist. As the world’s biggest economies search for ever more scarce resources, developing countries with these resources often undergo huge transformations in order to exploit them.
There is competition between the world’s superpowers to invest in infrastructure programs which can sometimes reach hitherto untouched parts of the world.
Engineering work consists of traditional skills, often combined with IT expertise as research and development finds ways of improving processes, equipment and logistics.
By necessity, an engineer will want to be able to travel almost anywhere in the world where new opportunities present themselves. As this could be almost anywhere, there could be a number of reasons why host countries require specific police checks. This being the case, a portable, trusted accreditation scheme can be an invaluable engineer’s tool.
Global Demand for Engineers
It is estimated there will be a demand for as many as 15 million engineering jobs globally by 2026. Although retention rates internationally are hard to calculate, the fact is that engineering can be dangerous as well as physically and mentally demanding. For this reason, younger demographics are quite highly reflected in this sector.
Even subtracting software engineers, most people in the engineering professions a in their 20s to 40s. Also, there is a growing trend for women to enter the field, which will be vital over coming decades.
Because of the specialisms involved, the talent, qualifications, training and continuous professional development (CPD) required, engineering jobs are also well rewarded. With a median annual wage of over 100 thousand US dollars, even a relatively short career in engineering can by much more valuable than an entire working life in many other economic activities.
Police Checks and Engineering Jobs
Overall, the types of police check which will be required to obtaining work in engineering will be quite basic. Unlike caring professions and some IT work, engineering usually does not take place in areas which are likely to harm the general public or specific individual groups. In terms of the UK’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) system, this will usually mean the Standard check.
This level is one above Basic, and will reveal spent convictions, warning and cautions. Standard checks are carried out by employers rather than individuals.
It is possible, however, that companies will require an Enhanced DBS check when taking on engineers. The enhanced check covers every single interaction with law enforcement authorities, whatever the reason or outcome.
It is specifically designed to ensure certain individuals do not come into contact with vulnerable groups. Some employers advertise the fact that all of their staff have had the Enhanced DBS check, as an up front precaution rather than because an engineering job requires it.
Although this level of police check may seem excessive, agreeing to it being carried out on behalf of potential employers can sometimes make the difference between obtaining a contract and not.
Will Brexit Affect Engineering Employment?
As engineering jobs quite often require freedom of movement, engineers themselves could be forgiven for worrying about the effects of Brexit on their future employment. In terms of police checks, the ACRO system means that the British DBS regime can be carried almost anywhere in the world. However, due to the protracted nature of Brexit and the complications which seem to remain, movement between the UK and EU countries could well be affected for many years to come.
In the short term, it seems likely that there will be a skills gap in British engineering jobs. This is because new rules require a sponsorship and Tier 2 work visa for those engineers wanting to work in the UK; this is predicted to prove off-putting for non UK residents. The result could mean a rise in demand – and therefore wages – for British engineers; especially those who are newly qualified and looking for their first job/s in the engineering sector.
The EU, meanwhile, is likely to continue to welcome UK based engineers with open arms. Certain EU countries like Italy have an ongoing shortage of qualified engineers. With a suitable ACRO police check, obtaining a visa for engineering work in these countries should prove quite straightforward.
Engineering Careers and the Covid Pandemic
The coronavirus crisis and ensuing measures to fight it have had a devastating effect on the engineering profession in the UK. The second quarter of 2020 showed a decline in advertised vacancies of almost three quarters from 2019.
Although the British economy is showing some signs of the beginnings of recovery, continued restrictions mean that uncertainty is still very much part of the economic landscape. With the end of the furlough scheme and reintroduction of business rates in July 2021, this environment is almost certain to have a detrimental effect on primary employment like engineering.
Against this background, finding work abroad will be extremely attractive to engineers, including newly graduated professionals. As travel restrictions vary between countries, those which require engineers may not be the easiest to enter without sufficient assurances, including vaccination status.
As jabs have been targeted at older age groups within the UK, these are more likely to have missed younger engineers looking to work abroad. Of course, demand for engineering talent is worldwide, and it could be that parts of Asia offer the best opportunities in the late- and post-covid era.
Portable Police Checks for Engineers
Perhaps inevitably, the current situation for those wanting engineering work abroad is quite complicated. As well as having the appropriate certificates and experience, it may be that other regulations apply to any particular individual.
With this in mind, any certainty will be helpful; for instance, the peace of mind provided by the CRBDirect ACRO police check. This combines the assurance of UK DBS checking and the experience of a third party who have carried out thousands of such procedures for engineers. As uncertainty is sure to continue into the foreseeable future, something this reliable is a great tool to have.