Dr Tony Whitehead, Director of Policy and Governance at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) said:
"These changes to the immigration system will not help our engineering sector to contribute to economic recovery in the UK. We currently have a national shortage of engineers and technicians, which has a negative effect on the UK economy."
"Employers are clearly saying that they need more professional engineers and engineering technicians to fill their skills gaps. Our own research shows that a third of employers find it hard to recruit suitable senior engineers while one in five face difficulties in recruiting suitable graduate engineers."
"The changes are also a cause of considerable concern for university engineering departments, many of which rely heavily on non-EU students - who not only to fill places on courses but who we believe are more likely to see UK companies as preferred future suppliers and partners if they have been allowed to study here."