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Our services Why are engineering firms struggling to recruit graduates? By 20th February 2018 4:01 pm Reports of a graduate engineer shortage are common yet competition for jobs remains fierce.Our roundtable panel proposed some potential solutions to the industry’s graduate problem.The Engineer’s graduate skills panel picked apart the industry’s recruitment problem.Britain is being held back by a major shortage of science and engineering students, or so we are told on what seems like an increasingly frequent basis.Yet ask most recent graduates whether they’ve found it easy to get a job in engineering and they’ll probably tell you that competition is fierce.
To explore what’s really going on in graduate recruitment and to try to identify some possible solutions, The Engineer convened a roundtable panel from across the engineering community.The discussion covered the reasons behind the skills mismatch what can be done to address it, but began with an examination of how widespread the problem actually is.The picture that quickly emerged was of an uneven jobs market, in which large, well-known firms have both the natural pull and the marketing budgets to attract huge numbers of applications, leading many graduates to end up fighting over the same few jobs.The smaller companies, meanwhile, especially those in more rural locations and less well-understood product areas, struggle to get enough applicants just to fill their roles, let alone compete for the best engineers.‘It’s a huge problem,’ said Bob Gregory, training manager for medium-sized precision manufacturer HepcoMotion.
‘We are in a fairly rural and remote part of Devon and there’s a lot of reluctance among graduates to relocate to where we are.’ The problem is even more severe when it comes to more specialised skills such as nuclear engineering, where the problem also starts to affect the larger firms.Geoff McFarland, group engineering director of Renishaw, explained how the company was forced to divest its acquired MRI equipment division after failing to find people with the right expertise to take it forward.‘The only ones available were from overseas,’ he said.Airbus is among the big firms with the budgets to reach out to graduates – but SMEs struggle for publicity.
However, despite a few comments about graduates missing certain technical skills and the difficulty SMEs have in offering additional training, there was a general consensus that the skills issue was more about quantity than quality of candidates and an acceptance that young people at the start of their careers would inevitably be inexperienced.‘The ones that we do get are of high quality and they learn quickly,’ said Gregory.‘We don’t expect them to come to us with a good working knowledge of SolidWorks or any other 3D modelling software.’ In fact, the number of science and engineering graduates is low enough to worry even the biggest firms, which are currently able to fill their vacancies without trouble but are acutely aware of the competition from other sectors.
‘We do anticipate that with the economy strengthening we will have more challenges,’ said Richard Hamer, education director for BAE Systems.‘When the City is demanding more numbers we’ll find more competition for graduates.’ Sector competition So why aren’t more people entering the engineering profession? One key suggestion was that students don’t really understand the full range of opportunities available in the sector.‘Engineering’s competing with so many other pulls from sectors that are a lot more vocal,’ said Keith Lewis, managing director of engineering recruitment agency Matchtech.‘People within engineering are very poor at promoting it and making lots of noise about it.
’ It’s a particular problem for SMEs, he added, which tend to operate in niche areas but also have smaller marketing and recruitment budgets.‘Companies that can afford to are looking at where those people might be coming from and setting up small offices to capture them.’ Rhys Morgan, director of engineering and education at the Royal Academy of Engineering, agreed that engineering firms weren’t selling themselves well enough compared to other employers that target engineering graduates, such as financial and professional service firms.‘The major engineering employers only go to the top 10-to-15 universities,’ he said.
‘All the banks and all the accountancy firms are very visible on all the campuses and they make it very attractive for engineering graduates to think “I’ll go there”.’ ‘The major engineering employers only go to the top 10-to-15 universities,’ said Rhys Morgan (centre) of the Royal Academy of Engineering.However, there is also a lack of understanding of what even the better-known companies actually do, which doesn’t just put people off from applying but also disadvantages those who do wish to stay in the sector.‘If people don’t know which area of engineering they want to go into, they won’t know which companies to apply to and what to put in their applications,’ said Rosie Tomlinson, a graduate mission systems engineer for Airbus Defence and Space (formerly Astrium).‘Some people apply for the top 10 companies, they don’t get a job so they give up.
’ The wider perception of engineering may also have an impact.The panel had little support for the idea that people were put off by ‘low’ pay, given that engineering graduate jobs tended to offer considerably more than the average starting salary of £20,000, but agreed this fact wasn’t always well conveyed.‘There’s a lot more we could do to sell that,’ said Hamer.‘Sometimes in the press they exaggerate the small number of graduates who get jobs at Goldman Sachs earning £60,000 but the number who do that is minute.Whereas in our sector there are schemes where you can earn £30,000 or more as a starting graduate.
’ There was also a recognition that more could be done to promote the possibilities for career development.‘As careers progress the number of senior engineers with that title starts to diminish and they go into other roles: the fact that they’re engineers starts being lost,’ said John Mitchell, director of the integrated engineering programme at University College London.Industry solutions Aside from increased marketing, one way to increase graduates’ awareness of engineering career options may be to widen the availability and take-up of industrial placements, which only a minority of students undertake.Mitchell said universities also had a role in helping promote careers at SMEs.
‘We’ve got very good relationships with the sorts of people who already have very well-developed schemes for attracting graduates but how we can help the smaller companies? A lot of the onus has been on supporting students if they make the first move but actually I’m not sure we’ve stepped up to the mark to put in enough real support.
’ Another possibility would be for the larger firms to work more closely with their SME suppliers.Hamer said the aerospace industry was already looking at how big companies could pass on surplus job applicants.‘We’ve got an oversupply of candidates: why not train more of them — with government money — and then provide them to small companies?’ Bob Gregory of HepcoMotion agreed it was an idea he would like to explore.
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‘A lot of our customers are actually universities and it would supply an ideal network for that,’ he said.‘We’ve got an oversupply of candidates: why not train more of them and then provide them to small companies,’ said Richard Hamer (centre) of BAE Systems.
However, even if all these issues were addressed and 100 per cent of engineering graduates went into industry (a questionable aim in itself), we still wouldn’t have addressed the skills shortage we’re told companies are facing Should i buy an research proposal repair technologies College Sophomore 55 pages / 15125 words British A4 (British/European).However, even if all these issues were addressed and 100 per cent of engineering graduates went into industry (a questionable aim in itself), we still wouldn’t have addressed the skills shortage we’re told companies are facing.
In short, we need more engineering students.And this can’t be addressed just by engaging more with young people, said Morgan FindAPostDoc.com - A jobs site exclusively listing postdoctoral research posts..And this can’t be addressed just by engaging more with young people, said Morgan.‘Universities are almost at capacity,’ he said.‘So even if we did get more students coming through to study STEM science, technology, engineering and maths subjects, we’re not going to have the capacity where to find writing services economics thesis Freshman Business double spaced.
‘So even if we did get more students coming through to study STEM science, technology, engineering and maths subjects, we’re not going to have the capacity.
’ Given the current state of public finances, one solution may be a greater roll-out of higher apprenticeships, which all the employers on the panel already use g181.com/thesis/where-to-find-writing-services-economics-thesis-freshman-business-double-spaced-quality.’ Given the current state of public finances, one solution may be a greater roll-out of higher apprenticeships, which all the employers on the panel already use.These offer a work-based route to a degree through part-time, employer-supported study and could be particularly useful to those employers not located near big university cities or that have very specific skill requirements.‘If we’ve taken on someone who’s been through that programme they’re actually more likely to stay with us than jump ship,’ said Renishaw’s Geoff McFarland.‘Whereas engineers who’ve studied in, say, Newcastle and join us in Gloucestershire have already moved once and there’s nothing to stop them moving again.
’ However, the panel concluded that if the government was serious about addressing the skills issue, it needed to help universities invest the necessary money to expand.‘We need more students to recognise that if they’re doing an engineering degree there’s a really interesting, exciting, creative, design-focused valuable lifelong career in engineering for them that they’ll be so stimulated by, much more so than working in the financial sector,’ said Morgan.‘But we also need to be very clear to government that we need it to invest in engineering higher education to increase capacity.’ The Participants Richard Hamer, education director, BAE Systems Keith Lewis, managing director, Matchtech Geoff McFarland, group engineering director, Renishaw John Mitchell, director of the integrated engineering programme, University College London Rhys Morgan, director of engineering and education, Royal Academy of Engineering Rosie Tomlinson, graduate mission systems engineer, Airbus Defence and Space 16th December 2015 3:44 pm 16th December 2015 3:44 pm 16th December 2015 3:44 pm 12th April 2018 10:52 am 12th April 2018 9:14 am 12th April 2018 9:02 am 12th April 2018 9:24 am Paul Whitney 15th April 2014 at 1:30 pm I keep hearing the posturing of all the quango’s about the lack of available Graduate Engineers, but i can tell you from first hand experience that there are Graduates out there, but Companies are not willing to take the time to train.Eng in Civil Engineering & although he is in work he is not working in the Civil environment as he cannot get work in that area.He has stated that he is willing to travel/relocate for work so has shown a flexibility in his outlook.With all the infrastructure Projects that we hear about, surely there is a opening for a Graduate Trainee.Please tell me were he can get a position in his field if the position are available, because he has sent hundreds of CV’c to Hundreds of Companies & Agencies without success.He only needs one position, so if all the noise from all the apparent institutions he must be able to find a suitable position.
Mark Donnelly 28th August 2016 at 10:41 am I was a mature student who studied civil engineering and ended up teaching.Your son might be better off with a surveying company initially for a year or two and then asa setting out engineer in an RC frame environment.The ultimate goal would be to get a job as an RE or in design .Daniel 15th April 2014 at 1:44 pm I am only a couple of years removed from the graduate job hunt (and admittedly I graduated at the worst point in the recession) but finding a job was not easy at all.
There were only a couple of the big companies that I was interested in, so apart from those I focused my search on SMEs.What I quickly found was that many had practically no visibility.They never appeared at recruitment fairs, or appeared on job boards.Indeed, many did not even recruit directly, relying more on agencies for that.These were not household names, so unless I knew about them before hand I rarely discovered them on my own.
This put the onus on recruitment agencies who varied from poor to dire.They seemed to have very little concept of what the jobs they were recruiting for entailed and what skills were needed.The companies themselves did not immediately entice me either.Many were in remote locations with poor/non-existent transport links.Many of them were also single product companies, which offered little room for new product development or growth.
Many freely admitted that training would be limited and it was fully up to the individual to sort out these sorts of things (a bit daunting for a fresh graduate).To add to that, most seemed to be looking for more experienced engineers with a much more specific skillset.Someone who could “hit the ground running”.I got rejected for many roles due to lack of experience.Struggling to find a job when the press were screaming out about the lack of engineers does make you feel like there is something glaringly wrong/unsuitable about yourself.Eventually I did find a place with a larger company (that I had never heard of), but the search was not easy.It is impotant to interest people in engineering at an early stage in their lives.
Primary and secondary school teachers should be helped to understand that engineering advances all aspects of mankind’s material welbeing and be encouraged to introduce engineering references into day to day activies with pupils.For an SME to be able to recruit high class graduates it must show that a career path exists for them.Paul Lawrence 15th April 2014 at 3:22 pm Levels of pay in engineer are also costing companies staff.I have been to interviews in the past where the interviewer has ended by saying he can’t match what I am already earning.
Simple why would I move to a job that is lower paying.Even today, I still see jobs being advertised with pay 5K lower than what I was earning 5+ years ago.Andy 15th April 2014 at 3:35 pm It was very difficult to find a job after graduation.In the end I took an opportunity to do some more education.
This was sponsored and I left this into a job.Now i’m experienced I think finding a job is easier.Many graduates don’t enter engineering and many don’t stay after doing so.grumpy old man 15th April 2014 at 4:01 pm A problem with taking on graduates is quality.
Many degrees just do not deserve the title.Even a good MEng in terms of technical depth is not as strong as the level of achievement we used to get at the end of the second year in a BSc.Ask a mech grad about some simple gear geometry.I have come across people with good MEngs that have done no complex numbers, yet have A level maths (complex numbers started at O level for us).This goes back all the way to primary school where true comparisons are hard- but consider that we have had in recent years some primary schools starting once again to teach times tables up to 12.
Furthermore, there’s been serious talk of taking calculus out of A level physics, thereby unquestionably relegating it to O level standard.Also, thirty yeas ago, for a degree to be accredited by the IMechE, a period of Craft Training was required.Oh, and it’s not the graduates’ fault- the failure of our education system and the Institutes is the problem.Grumpy young man 28th January 2016 at 8:33 am Good Point! The problem is that now a days, everything is about money! Institutes and universities are competing how to make more money and therefore, accepting and graduating more and more students with low quality.Has anyone actually gone through the numbers of graduates and jobs? There are so many different messages in the media.
For instance, firms are struggling to find enough graduates yet they get 10 applying for each available position.What are the number of people graduating with an engineering degree and how many jobs are available? For an industry based on numbers and facts, there has just been conjecture and thoughts used on this subject From personal experience I can tell you that it is not unusual to have a double figure number of applications rejected before getting close to a job offer.It took me a year after getting an Accredited Degree from one of the top engineering universities in the country before I ended up with a job offer S.Martin 16th April 2014 at 1:32 pm This is much more than a problem with the industry, it is a problem with society and their ignorance.When I was young we had toys such as Lego or Meccano which encouraged logical thought and practical assembly, now its all computers.
Older toys created logical thinking and practical skills as a combine, now a computer has resolved these issues hypothetically, and here is the major problem.Hypothesis is fine to a point, but come the practicalities and the hypothesis doesn’t work when it comes to the practicalities.Engineering is all about making the hypothesis a practicality and a reality.This translates to education, the current system of education is so target focused that it focuses on targets rather than providing the foundation skills engineering requires.When a child is interested it is knocked out of them in favour of a school hitting a target.
Parental ability also has a part to play as fewer people repair things in favour of “getting a man in” to do such works.Now we have lost a parent who may do more mundane, but practical elements such as repairing or servicing their own vehicle as a prime example, and children not being involved with these practical elements.Now we have lost a lot of the foundation skills and children have no interest or inclination towards engineering.DrGeneNelson 16th April 2014 at 4:43 pm Historically, it has always been more profitable for employer interests to falsely allege a “shortage” than to improve wages and working conditions.The elites that reap most of the firm’s economic benefits have seen their total compensation climb for the past several decades while many employees have seen meager increases that fail to match inflation.
Search by title in the IEEE Spectrum for “The STEM Crisis Is a Myth” – Forget the dire predictions of a looming shortfall of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians By Robert N.Charette Posted 30 Aug 2013 | 17:47 GMT to learn how employer interests have been raising the same false claims for almost a century.To understand the benefits for the economic elites, please search by title for the PDF version of, “How Record Immigration Levels Robbed American High-Tech Workers of $10 Trillion.John Ryder 10th March 2018 at 9:27 pm The problem for us in the US is the flood of H-1b visa workers who are being used to replace engineers and other tech workers by the hundreds of thousands.Considering there are only 1M total engineering jobs in existence, this is NOT a minor chunk.As more and more H-1b workers get into management, the more they are free to weed out local talent with ridiculous requirements (i.“must be fluent in Hindi”) to flat out racist criteria.
Anonymous 17th April 2014 at 11:02 am My daughter is just about to do finals in engineering.The media and everyone told her that there are loads of jobs out there, but trying to find them is difficult.The recruitment firms are vague about what the job actually is, jobs are left up even afer they have gone, graduate schemes have a long winded application process at a time when they are trying to do final projects and revise ( if you apply for five jobs that involves up to 10 days out on assessment days, five days on interviews, five days on telephone interviews- and then you may not hear for two months, by which time other schemes have closed) There are very few graduate schemes and many want experience which the graduates simply do not have.If you want engineers, you ahve to do more to help the graduates.
By the way-anyone want a female mechanical graduate who specialised in renewables? mike blamey 17th April 2014 at 3:07 pm University Engineering departments: comprised primarily of lazy, self-opinionated individuals who would not last until morning coffee on day one in any proper Engineering firm -men amongst boys(the poor students) and boys amongst men(Proper engineers) -no disrespect to those of the other gender Recruitment agencies -possibley one short step above insurance or estate agents (I did say possibly!) In house HR -human remains -probably is being generous to them…”Put Symcock in Personnel, they can’t do too much harm there -Oh yes they can and do! Other shams? waste of space: Civil servants and others paid by the State whether they are bright or stupid-likewise.And amazingly we Engineers have to carry this lot/load upon our backs -as well as doing our proper jobs.ie developing the mechanisms for and actually creating wealth.Sorry to sound somewhat cynical, but it is Good Friday tomorrow.best BENEDICT DAVEY 18th April 2014 at 9:59 pm Companies obviously bump off graduates for their properties.
most students grew up with results oriented primitivism… instead of objectives oriented customer winning projects appropriate techniques case studies knowledge info experience and budgeted career paths.optimism seems too naive for a political economy founded on pessimistic criminology and brothel creepers selectivism.Greyman65 22nd April 2014 at 12:36 pm They will gripe on until the public opinion is that we just do not have the local skills, and then they will be allowed to import the overseas workers.Just how many overseas engineers work in our high tech industries? This is very unwise move for the future.We all know this but the PR juggernaut just rolls on.Anonymous 22nd April 2014 at 3:17 pm Interesting that while agreeing with some/much of Mike Blamey’s rant, (esp.HR ‘professionals’) the complete lack of structure, grammar and composition of his missive would probably result in his CV going straight in the ‘laugh and tear up’ tray! Communication is a primary requirement of any professional… Nathan 22nd April 2014 at 3:39 pm The problems are broad and troubling and it is going to require a lot of co-ordination and head banging to sort things out.1) eight years since graduating I can remember the trouble I had applying for electrical engineering posts, terrible lack of visibility.
I knew there were jobs out there but where to look? Engineering firms place so little value on training and recruitment – expecting the world of fresh graduates – that they do nothing to promote their companies nor to help graduates find their ways to them.2) Engineering firms tend to sit back and blame the universities or the government but they rarely take proactive steps themselves contrast this with accountancy firms.The IET, like most institutions is of little use when in fact they should be drawing the parties together.What is needed are consortiums of businesses designing and funding local courses, offering placement years and getting involved with selection.
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The Systems Engineering course at Loughborough was (is?) a good example of this.
3) Universities leave students badly prepared.As someone now responsible for EICA graduate recruitment in my division I have to say foreign students are often somewhat better Research projects available Oxford Materials University of Oxford.As someone now responsible for EICA graduate recruitment in my division I have to say foreign students are often somewhat better.
UK grads can do full blown load flow simulations but don’t know why you calculate short circuit current or what the kVA rating of transformer is for.4) To those leaving uni with BEngs… don’t.
My company will look at you but you’re at the bottom of the heap How to order an repair technologies research proposal professional 10 days Custom writing Standard A4 (British/European).My company will look at you but you’re at the bottom of the heap.Chartership is valued by our clients and without an MEng or MSc you’re going to take longer to get chartered and are therefore less valuable to them and so also us help me do a biological sciences thesis proposal 138 pages / 37950 words Business British.Chartership is valued by our clients and without an MEng or MSc you’re going to take longer to get chartered and are therefore less valuable to them and so also us.5) Grads often come to us with highly comparmentalised learning.They cannot link the subjects they’ve studied together and so struggle with real-life applications.Some I’ve met don’t even know main frequencies but have designed UK main frequency convertors? As the Americans say – go figure.
Taken together these are serious issues which terribly restrict UK plc from developing its engineering business.What are you talking about 3rd August 2017 at 11:54 am You made some good points until your rant about BEng.are for those who couldn’t get jobs in the first place and needed something to fill their time.Engineer 22nd April 2014 at 4:35 pm Nathan – Point 4.
Fully agree, this is why apprenticeships will never work with regards to a normal engineering job.Chartership is sort after by a lot of companies and having this or being likely to get it in a short period makes you more valuable.This is why chartered engineers generally get paid more.Andrew 22nd April 2014 at 7:14 pm Well, if you don’t get any work experience after graduating then it’s a painful life indeed post graduation, because all the job adverts one looks at require someone with experience, so ‘chicken and egg’ one doesn’t get any work experience because ah…one doesn’t have any.If foreign students are not considered by employers for graduate placements, which is right in my mind, then foreign students are taking up places in the classroom at the universities so therein is the answer to the UK born and breed graduate shortage.
At the end of the day a Graduate needs experience in the workplace, this cannot be replicated in University or anywhere else.Additional to my previous comment: Large companies are looking for educationally top class candidates to fill their training placements.The remainder of the Graduates who are not top class are left to look for work elsewhere in the Medium and Small employers job adverts.Many Medium and Small companies use Agencies to look for Engineers, where, the Agencies are looking for the exact candidate to fill the job role so intern the agency can get paid the max ‘finders fee’ money from the company.
When the Agencies receive CVs from Engineers I don’t think they send CVs to their client that don’t fully match the job specification and in turn give the impression to their client that there is a shortage of Engineers out there.
If Medium and Small companies advertise for their job openings in the Job Centre which I think is free then this would be better than falling into the hands of the Agencies, but perhaps the companies think that no one looks at vacancies at the Job Centre unless they are unemployed, but things have changed in the last decade with Job Centre vacancies being advertised online, or lastly, perhaps they don’t want to vet CVs and rather let an Agency do it.The UK Government should have all the statistics of the number of people in the UK with Engineering qualifications and perhaps they should send them a survey form to find out why they are not working in the Engineering sector for those who aren’t, instead of relying on the usual suspects to tell them what’s going on in the world of Engineering.Dear Anon: apologies if my @spelun and grimmer and looart did not appeal.I agree that were I preparing a consultancy proposal to a new client (I have stopped doing so for at least 10 years!) I would have used every possible check to ensure that it was as perfect as I could make it, confess that with the advent of e-mails, txt msgs and other electronic communications and passing between fellow bloggers/professionals my standards have slipped.If its any consolation, my grand-daughter (aged 12!) regularly points out my errors as well.
I would perhaps be justified in saying that in session 2003/4 I was fortunate enough to win outright the Higher Education Academy UK Award for most innovative lecturer in the country.Amazingly, in my e-mails today is a response from a potential publisher of the book I have written (somewhat in the style content of Nevil Shute Norway -Engineer turned author- (to whom I was introduced as a 6 month old baby -he and father worked together in the Admiralty Special Weapons Division -the reason I was born in Portsmouth!) which compliments me on the standard of my ‘proper writing’.matt 23rd April 2014 at 4:08 pm For a young engineer with no marketing budget it is so frustrating to see how big companies and the government are using their influence and resources to push the ‘We don’t have any engineers’ message when the opposite is true In the article above Mr Hamer of BAE Systems even says ‘‘We’ve got an oversupply of candidates’ How can they then sit there and say the country is lacking in engineers? Interesting! I’m a UK student with BEng in Petroleum Engineering and currently studying for an MSc in Petroleum Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, still looking for a job to commence my career in September 2014.Stephen Bunch 23rd April 2014 at 6:16 pm Quite simple Matt….
an oversupply of SUITABLE candidates !There are plenty of people with fancy degrees who have no personality or communication skills.Anonymous 23rd April 2014 at 10:11 pm Salary is a major issue.Graduate level generally is higher than average but people who do engineering degrees are not average.The average salary can be earnt working at McDonald’s.It is long term earning where the issue arises.
Graduates in countries like Switzerland etc.Many engineers quit the sector or move abroad.Salary is one of the most common reasons.
One thing I have noticed is that the engineering sector has picked up hugely over the last 12 months.ralf 24th April 2014 at 6:24 am I Got a new Job as a graduated engineer.My take home pay is 50% higher than for someone on minimum wage.
mike 21st May 2017 at 9:29 pm yeah, but the guy on minimum wage gets benefits, and you have a massive debt and have wasted several years not-earning.Anonymous 24th April 2014 at 9:50 am As one of the 2013 Engineering Graduates, it was not easy to find an engineering job when University ended.Despite gaining a First in Aerospace Engineering and having summer placement experience with a major defence company, it was November before I was able to gain employment.One of the primary causes that I found was that if you do not attend a ‘Red Brick’ University (ie.Loughborough, Bristol, Imperial…) companies are not interested.
Since starting however, my company appreciates the more hands on approach and ability to apply my knowledge to changing projects over the pure theoretical knowledge provided by other new starters from the before mentioned Universities.The other main cause is the steep cost of living in the Engineering centres.A graduate fresh out of university with no financial backing cannot afford the start-up rental costs of these big cities and there is no support available.I know several Graduates offered jobs in Bristol who had to decline because they could not afford the rent and deposit before the first pay check.
Finally, what about the graduates with 2:2’s? This grade is worse than not having a degree at all.The Graduate is under qualified for all the Graduate Schemes but over qualified for all of the Apprenticeships.Stuck between a rock and a hard place indeed! Next time there is mention of Graduate shortages, please send a thought out to the English Graduates with 2:1’s that still have not been able to get a Graduate Scheme! Some home truths ….This won’t be popular, but I have to say that, at the time of graduation, a graduate engineer is NO engineer! Sorry, but universities (even the best ones) do not produce fully functioning expert assets.Ironically, you will find many a professor telling his students that they are ‘the chosen few’, ‘the future’ etc.
it takes about 10 years to become an expert.A university degree demonstrates an ability to learn and absorb concepts at a certain level – nothing more! Take note graduates – you are of little use for at least two years after graduation, and even after this you will need supervision and training.When you factor in that you will be a financial liability for the first couple of years of your career, it’s no wonder that employers are a bit picky.Apart from youth and vigour, graduates have very little to offer a business, especially an SME with limited resources.I have always had better results with apprentices than direct graduate entrants – those that are academically gifted can be sponsored through university, are more practical and tend to make more complete engineers.
Kay Pryszlak 17th October 2017 at 2:22 pm As an SME, I agree that graduates are not what I am looking for.We train our own engineers and they would run rings around any graduate with no “on the job” training.The future for training engineers for the future is for engineering schools to be attached to actual factories where there can be real work done on real machines.Too much theory in a classroom and not enough real experience.
I really want to set my own up but knowing how to is really difficult.
University Technical Colleges follow this model quite closely.Nathan 25th April 2014 at 12:08 pm Perhaps The Engineer could collate these responses and future / past responses (as surely this question has been asked before and will be again) and provide a page of readers’ advice for graduates and employers alike (especially SMEs) on graduate recruitment.Peter Gore 25th April 2014 at 2:53 pm While agreeing with the position that new graduates are not ‘fully formed’, to suggest they are of ‘little use’ for two years is nonsense! The value they add is down to the employer’s attitude.The (truly) world leading company where I spent the majority of my working career routinely employed ‘year in industry’ undergraduates in mech eng and physics who’s duties were equivalent to experienced full time employees.Some investment in ‘recuiting’ the undergraduates is necessary, and emphasis on technical AND personal skills important.
Supervision is of course required (as with ALL employees), but equally some faith and willingness to give talent chance to shine is essential.Several undergraduates became full time employees on graduation and continued to make a very real, and immediate, contribution.But please, young engineers, do not make the same mistake.As another observer notes, poor communications skills are a hurdle when seeking employment.
One way to ensure that you are not of those whose job application does not end up on the wrong pile is to take what you write seriously, wherever it appears.Talk to engineers seeking young recruits and they will often mention these “soft skills” and their absence in too many applicants.My life has been in communication rather than engineering, albeit often communicating about engineering.My experience suggests that engineers have a particular problem when it comes to communicating.Scientists can wipe the floor with them.
I recently interviewed a seriously senior engineer who made the same point.Their view was that encouraging engineers to get out and communicate “would be very dangerous unless they recognise that talking engineer speak is strictly for use with other engineers.Until we learn some communication skills, we are better off continuing to talk to ourselves.But we do need to learn those skills so that we can communicate with others.” Why should engineers acquire those skills? Because “we are failing to get our value across to the world.
Ultimately, for me it is also unlocks the key to getting more people to want to become engineers, which is part of solving a supply problem.” Which brings us neatly back to this Q&A session, and why Mr Blamey’s approach to communication is dangerous.Dear Mike Kenward, You too are right to point out what you have done: if anything I have written, in any format, causes offence, it is to be regretted.A gentleman (presumably a lady likewise) never knowingly does so.
For the record (as our Editor knows well) my career as a practicing textile Engineer/ technologist is long past (even if it is not over!) It is now restricted to trying to encourage young people to consider our profession as the one they might wish to consider.Not only by telling them how good it has been -but also pointing out the limitations -both personal and professional- that other so-called professions engage in! I have taken on the ‘shams’ -those who manipulate man’s laws to the benefit of the highest payer- and beaten them soundly time and again -simply applying the scientific method and logic to demonstrate their shallow thinking and efforts.They have not been best pleased, because my work and research has pointed out the full extent of the verbal stranglehold that they have had for far too long on the rest of us.More if you wish it? best What’s an engineer? In Germany that’s someone who has finished 4 years university at the least.frank kennedy 30th April 2014 at 10:51 pm I’ve been a senior engineer for a well known backbone IT company doing multi disciplined maintenance as a power engineer.
The main problem is why take a know nothing graduate anyway theyre all clarences.They haven’t the nous to make a technical decision under production pressures.Promote people who have practical skills – you can always teach them management skills and if your pay structures and budgets allow it you will get the support your seeking from older guys like me 61 Engineer 1st May 2014 at 8:47 am Not wanting to state the obvious but maintanence isn’t typically in the role of an engineer.The engineer is the person that will design the circuits using maths and drawings.
Another engineer will write the software.The installation and maintanence is where the technician comes in.Both the technician and engineer roles are equally important but there are differences.Graham Edwards 2nd May 2014 at 11:58 am You can hardly blame the youngsters when they choose to learn to be accountants,bankers,solicitors,HR-specialists,financial advisors,public sector officers +++ instead of becoming engineers in a rapidly-declined industrialisation sector.To make engineering & industry a desirable profession,like it is in Germany or India ,for example……………we have to bring back the foundries,blast furnaces,forges,shipyards & lots of those workshops that used to support our export-focused industries like tractors 185000 p.
It is NOT going to happen so we have to have BRITISH influence in those overseas factories that can now benefit from UK`s expertise in Innovation and influence means “OWNING the Share Capital & having UK-Directors,operating at the Policy & Strategy level,” instead of the foolishness of much of the “INCOMING FOREIGN investment ” so popular and so encouraged in government circles for many years.
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We have to change at the top in order that our young,capable students can have any hope of reaching the policy-making levels of WORLD-focused industry & business.G Repeat ad nauseam for as long as they think we are stupid enough to listen… Until industry gets up off its fat complacent backside and wakes up to the fact that the thousands of graduate engineers leave university EVERY SINGLE YEAR and don’t go anywhere near engineering in any shape or form , AND finds out why, AND then tells us in all honesty, what those reasons are – I suspect this situation will continue.
Does industry want more engineers or just cheaper ones? Neil Bussey 18th May 2014 at 1:44 am I gained an HNC Electronics Engineering qualification from the University of Teesside in 2009 Should i purchase college repair technologies research proposal plagiarism-free Sophomore 3 hours Rewriting Academic.Does industry want more engineers or just cheaper ones? Neil Bussey 18th May 2014 at 1:44 am I gained an HNC Electronics Engineering qualification from the University of Teesside in 2009.
I have been unable to get an engineering technicians job since then.The main problem that I have had is being failed on experience and I can’t gain experience if nobody employs me.The problem is that there are a lot of engineering graduates, but they don’t have the experience in specific skills areas 1 Apr 2014 - 'We've got very good relationships with the sorts of people who already have very well-developed schemes for attracting graduates but how we can help 'So even if we did get more students coming through to study STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] subjects, we're not going to have the .
The problem is that there are a lot of engineering graduates, but they don’t have the experience in specific skills areas.
The shortage is for engineers who have gain experience in industry over a number of years and even gained higher qualifications’.
It is very sad to see this problem not being recognised clearly by the media, education, tech institutes and the Government.They all seem to be trying to cover up this problem for their own political ends.Anonymous 29th May 2014 at 5:10 pm When I graduated I was actively pursued by several of the big engineering firms.And, I’m sorry, but the panel having little support for the idea that people were put off by ‘low’ pay is absurd.You can’t compare average graduate salary with the very highest engineering graduate salary and then claim that pay is fine.
That’s pretty poor logic from engineers.Firstly, *good* engineering graduates are not average graduates and are not pursuing average graduate jobs.They are the countries brightest young minds.Secondly, in many industries, graduate salary is exactly that, a graduate salary, it will increase significantly over a lifetime.
You should compare salary surveys of the industries competing for engineering graduates, not just graduate salaries.They know very well what is available in engineering.The electronics weekly salary survey just published shows that only 11% of electronics engineers are earning 70k+.With the non engineering position I accepted I will be earning that guarunteed by the end of my graduate scheme, imagine the accumulated difference over a work lifetime.Secondly, why would a *good* engineering graduate, the countries youngest and brightest individuals, want to work in a 95% male environment in an industrial estate attached to some back end town? Especially when jobs in accountancy, law, consulting, finance etc will pay at least double in city centres, in much more healthy work environments.To be fair, even if these jobs paid less engineering firms would have a run for their money.In places such as Cambridge and Bristol where engineering Jobs are available in attractive locations the cost of living, relative to engineering salary is absurd.
On top of that, the quality of many degrees is shocking, even from the Russell group.Ask many an engineering student why they aren’t applying for engineering roles and they will reply ‘because of the technical questions’.So what you’re left with is that the good graduates all get jobs in other industries, and the poor graduates all compete for jobs they aren’t qualified for, and aren’t really interested in.Hence the contradiction of a skills shortage with loads of unemployed ‘engineers’.
Thankfully for what is left of industry, firms can hire people from india / outsource.Yet, relying on immigration is a politically sensitive, and short sighted solution.Standardise learning outcomes for different areas, nationalise testing of engineers and rank students and universities against each other by results (kind of like schools right?).If students don’t make the grade, they get a BA instead.
If Universities aren’t making the grade, they have to call the degree program something else until they do.2) Companies must aggressively hire under represented groups.This needs more than a comment at the end of a job posting about being equal opportunity.Extreme positive discrimination from a young age.
Free engineering degrees for women would be a start.Companies should pay for this, sponsor top female a-level students or something, offering to pay fees off if they get in top 40% of graduates in their year and work for the company for five years.3) Subsidise high-tech industry (or just any industry that doesn’t require masses of industrial space) in places people want to work, next to creative industries etc.I imagine this can be done without breaching free trade agreements.4) Create affordable housing in these places.
4) Create super fast trains out of city centres to areas developed purposefully for more space intensive industries.4) Create affordable housing at city centre end.BEng 20th July 2014 at 1:19 am Engineering company HR needs to consider that if they want to invite 25 eng grads to their offices to fight over 1 job at an assessment day, then 24 grads will leave feeling like they’ve been messing around and should have gone into medicine instead.
How about more phone interviewing and less messing engineering grads around at assessment days with life-boat exercises and paper tower building.This may be what drives eng grads to other sectors.Riaz 21st July 2014 at 11:33 am Some of these activities used at assessment days are totally unrepresentative or inappropriate for engineering careers or just plain daft.They are probably dreamed up by HR types in California who don’t know anything about engineering.
Plus on top of that, there are equally naff aptitude tests involving rotating cubes and the Myers-Briggs (two old American women) personality type indicator that was never intended for job interviews anymore than an X-Ray machine was.
Anonymous everyone is discriminated against in their own way! Arrogance does not befit a proper engineer! Anonymous 21st September 2014 at 4:01 pm I’ve 30 and just finished my degree with the Open Uni, a BEng.I’ve been searching for 3 months though, and although there is a LOT out there, the gap I’ve found is in two specific areas: 1) Experience.95% of the “Graduate Engineer” positions require 2 or more years experience in industry.My question is, how do we bridge that gap? Get the experience when graduates are already expected to have it to be employable? 2) Possibly linked to the first, software packages.I don’t know about other courses, but although Open Uni had a significant amount of technical and mathematical depth, there was no hands on with Solidworks or similar, and this is a fairly fundamental requirement I’ve seen for jobs as graduates.
Is the OU unique? Are degrees just missing a key skill here? I’ve not found any short courses in my area to learn CAD either.Seems quite counter productive to the industry that we don’t train our engineers to use industry standard software… Fraser WIlson 22nd September 2014 at 1:53 pm Okay….I think we’ve got the gist of things so why not start with every engineering firm, large and small, registering with their local university? With all this great technology we have, why not then network all this information across the UK? If a company has a position to fill, why not completely avoid the recruitment firms who are all target driven and pretty useless, and post the vacancy on the university network? Seems to me we should spend more time going to the source of graduates rather than relying on the media and recruitment agencies to find candidates.If every engineering firm registered their details on a database, graduates could research companies and what they do, universities would find out who was local to them and perhaps offer placement training during a course, and companies could tap directly into the source……simples!! Anonymous 22nd September 2014 at 2:17 pm To sum a lot of the issues up it’s down to salary, or the lack of it.The quote from the article says “Whereas in our sector there are schemes where you can earn £30,000 or more as a starting graduate” At 22 or 23 it is a good salary but when I see jobs advertised for experienced engineers with a minimum of 5 years experience and only offering £35000 it’s no wonder new graduates go to toher sectors.
Take a look at the jobs listed in The Engineer, yes there are some that pay more, mostly abroad or offshore and that’s not for everyone.I love my job in engineering, designing for a luxury automotive company.I am currently contracting but want to go permanent.I wont as they are unable to pay the right amount, and this is only based on my previous permanent salary and subsequent annual pay increases the comapny has given to it’s employeers.Get the salaries right, get the people apllying, grow the team, continually improve the team’s skillset and you’ll have a happy team.
Neglect these and people will leave, usually en masse, and HR ask “what’s the problem” but don’t listen.Then the business struggles to recruit again.There has also been a considerable downgrading of salaries in the engineering sector.Once when a Principal Engineer could earn circa £50k they are now advertised at £40.JLR are guilty of this, go to there careers site where management jobs are circa £50k and senior ones are £70k.
I also agree with Fraser Wilson’s comment above, more should be done to show all of us engineers and potential engineers what a company actually does.Would I choose engineering if i could start out again, definitely not.It’s not just graduates who have trouble finding positions it’s experienced engineers too.Here is the true situation in the UK right now: Engineering companies (real engineering companies, not pseudo or soft engineering that doesn’t require a degree) are: – Paying pathetic salaries – Located far away from the desirable places a young graduate wants to live (Engineering in London? Not a chance – unless you want to be a surveyor or AC Technician – Same with many other European capitals) – Not taking risks and constantly demonising graduates for having no skills (great way to entire them in – blame them for your poor judgement…) – Constantly promising more than they deliver – Providing absolute joke graduate schemes that you could complete in a few weeks, rather than being forced to wait for years to progress (company orientation takes DAYS not YEARS – we’re engineers, we are built to learn quicker than everyone else) Meanwhile, Graduates are: – Incredibly skilled (engineering is hard, we survived it and we know what we’re doing – stop calling us ‘unfit’ because one idiot you hired didn’t work.
A graduate scheme should be measured in weeks, not years) – Incredibly good at seeing through promises – Motivated by money (even if it’s not #1) – Willing to take a risk – Putting in ALL the effort in the lop-sided recruitment process – Dodging clueless HR and Automated CV guesswork Engineering companies need to pull their finger out.Engineers are clever, they know how to value your opportunity.If you can’t find one then your opportunity is sub-par.There are over 40000 new engineers emerging ever year in England alone, all smart, all looking for a challenge and all in need of money.If you’re not providing all three then we will go elsewhere.
Same problem for over 40 years in this country and still nobody gets the message.Graduates have voted with their feet – what are you (companies) going to do to get them back? Shamoon Bhana 23rd March 2017 at 3:55 pm I agree with you completely there.I have a degree in civil engineering and found that one of the biggest problems, especially with companies like Amec, Balfours and Mott Macdonalds (consultancies are no better) was that they have an engineering director, under whom sits a series of crony managers, under whom sits a team of ‘senior engineers’, under whom sits a team of graduates.The top two layers are totally unnecessary and are only interested in drinking coffee and booking time to timesheets, while contributing nothing at all to the projects, while the senior engineers and graduates do all the design work and are made to work like slaves.I am also appalled how many of these companies are signed up to so called ‘professional institutions’ like the ICE or IStructe who use coercion and dangle a golden carrot in front of engineers supposedly to increase their competence and make better engineers of them while knowing full well that only a selected few get through.
They also make graduates nod heads at anything and everything they carry out from presentations to their little group therapy sessions (sorry meant meetings).These institutions are purely money driven and make it extremely difficult for companies and individuals who work without them, to excel or proceed.Their aim, though they will always deny this outright, is to make sure that only chartered engineer approved designs are accepted, which is a form of protectionism and corporate communism.The fact that they have chartered and incorporated engineers now, who carry out little to no design work and are thick as shit proves this beyond doubt.Its all a game of timesheets and who can book what time to which project.
This puts HUGE amounts of pressure on engineers who spend 99% of their time worrying about how quickly they can complete something without any room for innovation.In effect all they are doing for say a beam design is going through a fixed method set out by either the Eurocode (don’t get be started on these pieces of shite) or the British standard.The only way to make engineering great again in my opinion is to deregulate the industry, abolish the ICE/IStructe and teach Engineering as one subject in universities so that on graduation, the engineer can branch out into what he or she wants to go into, without the need for silly institutions like the ICE and IStructe telling them how good they are, when they have no right to do so.Also Anonymous 8th November 2017 at 11:33 pm This is insulting, how is not having a degree soft engineering? That’s the sort of stuck up little snob comments which causes people to stereotype graduates.Graduates are a great way to get people who need the knowledge to get into positions but that attitude is disgusting.
A lot of engineering firms are missing a trick by not having significant London offices.Ones that do have no problems with recruiting engineers.I also know a lot of engineers that were excellent at their job but had to move sector because they had commitments that meant that kept them in London.
There is a hige demand from London based engineers and people wanting to live/work in London for more engineering companies to open offices there.
Riaz 3rd October 2014 at 3:47 pm Not every engineer or engineering graduate wants to live in London – an overpopulated city with obscenely high house prices and overcrowded public transport.I for one would prefer somewhere more relaxed where a 3 bedroom semi in a pleasant suburb is affordable to buy and it’s a place where you can happily bring up children.Hahahaha What a lie! Graduated with a first last year in Chemical engineering (Meng), University of Nottingham.I applied to about 50 engineering jobs and did not even get an interview, so i ended up in finance.Anonymous 1st September 2015 at 3:33 am Well it’s good to know many people understand how difficult it is to get into engineering jobs.
I am an Oil and Gas Engineering Msc graduate but don’t do anything close to engineering.Reason because I searched for any related role for 3 years and was unsuccessful due to one reason or the other.How do employers want you to gain experience without employing you? It sad mike blamey 1st September 2015 at 2:44 pm How sad to read of cynicism, anger, sadness, false promises, the feeling of being mis-led, betrayed, the wish to have done something other than Engineering or finding that the only properly-paid job(s) are in other fields, …is there a solution? I gather that the last time there was absolute full employment in Europe was on May 8th 1945.and that unfortunately that time was the conclusion of a terrible episode.So, as I have opined so many times before: let us as Engineers insist that we take as long as we can doing anything, that we make work for four or five ‘sets’ of Engineers in every project and work scheme, that we charge by the ‘six-minutes’ (ie ten per hour!) and that we allow 50% of our fellow Engineers to be employed trying to knock down what we are trying to create, that we have sole access to our type of work (a Trades Union that makes the worst excesses of the closed shop in manufacturing look benign that there are no checks whatsoever on what we do, either from our peers, our professional (a contradiction?) body, or the State.
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I am now of an age that these matters is no longer of any concern! Do I mean that? of course not, but the jumped-up clerks masquarading as professionals have gained complete control and are not going to give-it-up without one hell of a fight… Yes they do.Declan 1st September 2015 at 3:48 pm I graduated with a first in Mechanical Engineering 9 years ago from a highly rated university.I took on a placement / part time role in a relevant SME during my course and stayed with them for several years after graduating How to buy a research proposal repair technologies American Chicago/Turabian US Letter Size Freshman.I took on a placement / part time role in a relevant SME during my course and stayed with them for several years after graduating.
I applied to many large companies when I graduated but was unsuccessful – truth be told I was uninterested because I saw the value of the range of experience I was gaining in the SME.
Working in the SME during the final 2 years of my Masters course I saw the real reason why graduates are inexperienced and why SME’s look for experience and it is a lack of commercial awareness 4 Jul 2007 - first published Guide on Data Management in 2006. All online literature references available 16 March 2011. Published by: UK Data Archive research data. In the USA, the National Science. Foundation now requires grant applications to include a data management plan. In the UK: a joint Research..Working in the SME during the final 2 years of my Masters course I saw the real reason why graduates are inexperienced and why SME’s look for experience and it is a lack of commercial awareness.In our degree projects we got our hands dirty in the workshop and we compiled business plans and we costed designs and worked to budgets but none of that was ‘real’ because 90% of the lecturers supervising had ever managed a commercial project that would affect a companies bottom line so never understood the real pressures and practicalities involved.Yes SME’s require input of innovation via engineers to grow but their priority is cash flow g181.com/dissertation/how-to-purchase-custom-transportation-dissertation-business-118-pages-32450-words-harvard.
Yes SME’s require input of innovation via engineers to grow but their priority is cash flow.
That comes from getting a product or service to the market as quickly and efficiently as possible.A fancy office in London is not high up the list of priorities! The SME doesn’t exist to fulfil every desire of a graduate and engineers need to accept that when entering the profession.No doctor or nurse ever expected a 9-5 job! 3.As a graduate in the SME I was aware I was at the low end of the pay scale compared to my fellow graduates but could see the higher value of the experience I was gaining in the SME compared to their 2 year graduate schemes and was happy to see my lower pay as an investment.Also I had a comparison with a friend who graduated as an accountant but was on a low salary and had to study part time for 3 years after graduating to become chartered to progress – I was happier on my path (which actually lead to gaining chartered status anyway after 5 years through experience gained) 4.
I have since managed recruitment of graduate engineers for the SME.The average statistics were 1 in every 10 graduate engineers to start with us were a good fit.To filter for that 1 in 10 and avoid a steady stream of graduates we engaged with the universities earlier and ran student projects and took on summer and year placements.You won’t know how a graduate will work for you until they are working for you and this is a low risk way of doing that.(I am also surprised that valuable schemes such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships haven’t been mentioned here).
Large companies will advertise and use long winded recruitment processes and pick off the cream of the crop.That is the minority of the companies and the minority of the graduates.The real solutions to the problems of graduate recruitment will come from SME’s engaging more with the universities.Universities need to be more relevant to industry and SME’s need to be able to filter for the right people (for them) without using high recruitment budgets and agencies .and graduates need to be realistic about the industry they are going into.I have moved on from that first company but will only ever work for SME’s.I may never make as much as my friends in big business but for me everyday is exciting and every day is a school day and that is worth something too (perhaps that is just more of a personal outlook on life than an engineering opinion!!) Peter Broad 8th September 2015 at 10:25 pm What do engineers do? Unless the Public can answer that question the demand for engineers will remain depressed.Everyone “knows” what HR do they find the right people and make the workplace better? In reality as the letters above have shown not always true.What do teachers do? Only every 5 years or so a “new education scheme” has to be introduced to “improve education” like phonic alphabets or abolishing grammar schools’ Then there are employers who want experts.
Who enters university to be an expert in piezo, and bearing failures.Engineers need to begin as generalists like doctors and need a experience based qualification recognition program but spend too much time teaching school topics like calculus.The reader who said a second year university student knew more than a modern MEng may be griping but was not far from the truth, Universities exist to produce graduates they have little interest in the application of those skills beause those who do not enter industry return as post-graduates.What salary are they offering? Is it OK, to offer just over minimum wage for an university graduate, and expect him to do overtime and unpaid weekend travel ? Not so long ago BSI had a job offer for a certification officer for just £20,000 annually.Certification requires a lot of knowledge and experience.
But for £20k I wouldn’t bother to apply for that job.500 each for food, accommodation and repayment of student loan.Where does that leave fashion, vacation, utilities and commuting? Ralf 10th September 2015 at 10:13 am @Peter Broad: Well, if HR would find the right people , there wouldn’t be a shortage of engineers.
Actually, there isn’t a shortage of engineers, there is a shortage of good HR staff.
Anonymous 10th September 2015 at 3:10 pm I moved to UK from EU after completing my 5 year BSc degree in Aeronautical Engineering.Have to admit that I was applying for many engineering roles from trainee engineering or assistant which required lower degree than mine in sectors such transport and hotel, to the roles with my specialization in Aviation companies, I had only few interviews and even those were unsuccessful, during my research I noticed that some of the companies such British Airways, will take Indian graduates with “2-3 year experience” than will give a job to EU/British graduates.So after 4 years trying to get a job, I put away my Honors 2:1 degree in Engineering, and now focusing in the different area.John Snow 7th October 2015 at 2:39 am The reason is simple.Compare a German company to a British one.
The German has graduate if not PhD or Professor Dr Engineers as CEOs whereas the boards of all British Engineering companies are replete with accountants and lawyers.The salary differential between the board members and the staff in UK engineering firms is astronomical (they basically vote for their own salaries with the Remuneration Committee and it is all a mafia as I vote for your board salary and you vote for mine, using excuses such as comparisons to US salaries and so on).It is interesting that in good times the salaries are justified in terms of share value growth but in bad times the salaries are not drastically reduced based on share value drop.Accountans, personnel and legal staff receive 200 percent the salary of graduate engineers.Of course there is a shortage!!! Put the salaries up to German levels (connect them also to the lower cost of living in Germany to get the true salaries).
Pay the accountants personnel and lawyers less and then there wont be a shortage.Why are engineering firms struggling to recruit graduates? I’ll tell u why, 1) Crap wages 3) No Respect 5) No opportunities 7) Anyone can call themselves an Engineer this days.8) Stress and Burnout are rampant Tony 19th March 2016 at 3:41 pm The unfortunate reason is simple.There are many graduates coming out with great degree’s but when applying for the job, they lack in numerous areas which can be basic communication, presentation, lack of the industry knowledge.Which is of no fault to the university itself.
Very few graduates ever really go the extra mile to even fight for a job or simply stand out, its a no brainer.Can’t expect to get hired simply because you met the minimum requirement of gaining a degree.This usually only gets you as far as the interview.The quality of some graduates getting high grades yet do miserable in basic understanding of engineering concepts is laughable at assessment centres, this is where they get weeded out.(Applicants who look good on paper but in person completely different).
Some can’t work in a group, some just can’t answer technical questions of what they have already studied, some even struggle in a normal conversation, some get caught out in false statements made in their application….Also some candidates don’t really apply for many places and really only apply to like 10 companies within the entire year.Your chances are really slim at best unless your already known at the company.Which for most graduates is not the case.
Many of my classmates get high marks but can’t write a structured response to application questions online? Many don’t even bother to delve into the companies values? Generic responses.Most of all almost 70% do nothing else other than study? Companies are looking for a more rounded candidate with potential.They gotta be picky because their opportunities can’t be given to everybody.Mimi 31st March 2016 at 12:32 pm I feel like this might not be true.There are no shortages or companies are not serious in filling them in.
I personally have not started applying yet and will wait until i finish uni (I’m in my final year) before I start applying.But, I’m observing my fellow classmates apply and get rejected.After going through the long winded application processes, telephone and video interviews…they just get rejected and cast aside.One of them told me he’s applied to 30 companies already and only 10 got back to him.I nearly fell into a hole of despair when companies got back to me with two lines of an automatic email after spending hours trying to apply to them for a year’s internship, I only applied to 5, I’m not sure what applying to 30 will do to one’s psyche.
This is one of the main reasons I’m leaving my applications until the last day of my course.The process to get a job is so stressful, you apply to 30 and they all tell you to do online applications, to set a time for a 30 minute phone call, then invite you to another city for an entire day of doing weird activities….whilst TRYING to complete your dissertation, coursework, exams and face REJECTION from 99%-100% of every company you applied to? At some point i believed maybe young graduates had a sense of entitlement and weren’t dedicated enough to applying, but the fact that the big companies only go to the top universities and the careers fairs of normal universities are filled with banks and supermarkets is proving me wrong.The SMEs don’t bother showing up either, I have to do a deep Google search to find them and even then their application process isn’t clear.Also, even though they try to describe the role under the guise of beautiful words, I can tell they pretty much have no structure in place in which to train their graduates like a bigger company would, and so even though they say “must be proactive and willing to take control of your development”… the rest of the wording looks like “we have no structure in place for your development, look for the opportunities yourself, we won’t even care if you remain stagnant for the next 5 years(my biggest fear)”.
I went on the profiles of a few people that i knew who had graduated from my course, and their LinkedIn profiles stated they were now working as a business analysts.I thought engineering graduates ending up in finance was a myth, but it’s true.From a perspective of someone who is affected by this discussion above, I can definitely confirm other industries have managed to look more enticing than engineering.Damian 8th April 2016 at 1:20 pm I’m 46 and a highly experienced, Chartered Engineer who is now 12 months unemployed after being made redundant last year.Given up looking for work at this stage.
Companies won’t pay a decent wage for guys like me anymore.50k for an Engineer with 20 years experience is an insult.My advice, don’t do Engineering because you’ll be surplus to requirements or burnt out after 20 years.There’s a famous saying: ” What do companies do to engineers once they turn 40?? They take them outside and shoot em” Garry Brown 5th May 2016 at 5:36 pm In this debate so far, some contributors blame the problem on the graduates, some blame the universities or the employers.
In any case, it seems that there are many people who are disillusioned with engineering as a career choice.
When faced with a problem, it is sometimes good to step back and take a wider view.The overall problem is that some employers are struggling to find suitable candidates to fill their engineering roles while many young people find that trying to find a suitable position is difficult and frustrating.While it was suggested in a couple of posts that the solution is to go for higher levels of qualification, perhaps going the opposite way would be better.I am an engineer and I have no formal qualifications.I know this means that according to some I am not a “proper” engineer, but I am.
Asking someone at the age of 16 to consider spending 2 years getting their A levels and then 3 or 4 more to get their degree is a big ask.They will enter industry with little experience but understandably, having spent so much time gaining their qualifications, expect a good starting salary and rapid development.When I started work at 16 I was happy to accept an initially low salary but as I proved my abilities my salary grew rapidly.I do agree with many contributors that the popular perception of engineering is very unhelpful.The information available to young people can sometimes compound the situation.
For example the following is from the website in the engineering industry sector section: “One thing is certain: you’ll need to be good with machines, whether your specialism is fixing faulty DVD players, or maintaining machinery in a factory.You’ll often need to be good with people, too – you might be going into somebody’s home to fix their fridge or to fix the flood in their bathroom.“ My experience of working in engineering has been positive, both financially and from a job satisfaction point of view.I believe that being strong in science and engineering is vital to the UK economy and I hope that we manage to attract more talented people into the field in the future.Geoff Knight 29th June 2016 at 4:34 pm Age 49 & 1/2.
Chemical Engineer for 30 years working in small OEM’s quoting, designing, installing & commissioning process plant in Client’s production sites.My experience: “only as good as your last project”.Current situation: Tired & burnt out on poor money as oil & gas industry unstable.Conclusion: Can be an exciting career, but poorly paid, tiring, demanding, misunderstood by UK joe soap, used by UK money-men (investors /bankers et all).I’m getting out at age 50 to have a mid life crisis.
Sadi 1st August 2016 at 7:17 pm Hello! I noticed this article was from 2014 and that made me a bit skeptical on what may have possibly changed ever since then.Any possibility of an updated article soon? sk112 10th August 2016 at 5:33 pm Hello I have just graduated and the biggest problem i am finding is locating SME’s altogether i dont know where to search for them the big firms are advertised everywhere however the smaller firms dont do this.
you see the same names coming up in all the recruitment webisites Feeling cheated 11th August 2016 at 10:07 am I find it hard to get a job because of the great amount of degree fraud and other gross lies being perpetrated by my colleagues – just look at linkedin for your ex-classmates and be prepared to be shocked.but I am competing with (and this is not a lie) people who claim to have contributed to the robotic arm of the mars rover, or whose own company (company doesn’t exist and is not registered) supply UAVs to the government.
Neil 4th September 2016 at 3:13 pm After graduating from a top 10 UK Engineering University in 2014 with an MEng, I worked as a graduate Mech Engineer for a top Engineering company and although the starting salary was >£25k plus the prospects weren’t so good had I continued to stay in a technical role Get Professional Help With Custom Essay Writing: Expository Essay; Critical Review; Compare and Contrast Essay; Research/Analytical Essay; Cause and Effect Essay; Literary Essay; Argumentative/Persuasive Essay; Descriptive Essay; Informal Essay; Personal Experience Essay, etc .Neil 4th September 2016 at 3:13 pm After graduating from a top 10 UK Engineering University in 2014 with an MEng, I worked as a graduate Mech Engineer for a top Engineering company and although the starting salary was >£25k plus the prospects weren’t so good had I continued to stay in a technical role.
It seemed like most of the Engineering graduates went on to a more business and project management role as there was where the money was.Needless to say I left that role in 2015 and now work in Investment Banking earning double than what I was on and its a similar story for most of my friends in my course.If the UK wants more Engineers, increase the salary and make it a protected title Get a repair technologies research proposal College Senior Platinum single spaced Business.If the UK wants more Engineers, increase the salary and make it a protected title.Dan 18th September 2016 at 11:33 pm This thread, now running for over two years, has only confirmed what I have long suspected about the great myth being peddled about the shortage of engineers.
I have long contended that the real shortage is in firms that are willing to pay a reasonable rate for creative people who have long experience, in-depth knowledge of the processes, products and supply chains that are crucial to demanding high-tech industries that we are always told are the future, who keep up with their CPD and so on g181.com/dissertation/write-me-an-religion-dissertation-105-pages-28875-words-business-8-hours-confidentially.I have long contended that the real shortage is in firms that are willing to pay a reasonable rate for creative people who have long experience, in-depth knowledge of the processes, products and supply chains that are crucial to demanding high-tech industries that we are always told are the future, who keep up with their CPD and so on.It seems that I am not alone in that perception and I can only conclude moreover that far from a dearth of candidates, it’ll usually be a firm’s HR shortcomings that are to blame for failures to fill positions.This won’t be popular, but I have to say that, at the time of graduation, a graduate engineer is NO engineer! Sorry, but universities (even the best ones) do not produce fully functioning expert assets.Ironically, you will find many a professor telling his students that they are ‘the chosen few’, ‘the future’ etc.
it takes about 10 years to become an expert.A university degree demonstrates an ability to learn and absorb concepts at a certain level – nothing more! Take note graduates – you are of little use for at least two years after graduation, and even after this you will need supervision and training.When you factor in that you will be a financial liability for the first couple of years of your career, it’s no wonder that employers are a bit picky.Apart from youth and vigour, graduates have very little to offer a business, especially an SME with limited resources.I have always had better results with apprentices than direct graduate entrants – those that are academically gifted can be sponsored through university, are more practical and tend to make more complete engineers.
Everybody loves the underdog You conveniently forget that if you don’t hire these NO engineers you will never have experts.It seems that now in order to want a job you must magically have 30 years of experience, so you will be lucky if you get your first paid job before retiring.This comment is a good example of the lack of respect for the engineering job: disrespect for the engineers hard work, the responsibility on your shoulders (some failures may put you in jail), the stress and never-ending working hours in order to meet deadlines and objectives.Engineering is not what it used to be and naturally talented and intelligent people should flee this damned career and look for a better job and better life.MEng in Disappointment 26th September 2016 at 3:47 pm A lot of very good points made overall, clearly it’s a problem with complexity, and a “bit of everything” contributing to it.
For me, the reasons that feel the most disappointing are the potential salaries and reputation within the UK for engineers.I agree with the general point about decent graduate starting salaries, but slow growth from there on out.When I graduated I started on £25k, which was was great.5 years later my meager pay rises meant I was being paid only a few thousand more than a graduate starting that year! Not being financially rewarded for your experience and contribution is a very de-motivating environment to be in.
The lack of protection on the “engineer” means anyone can be an engineer.
Technically the definition of engineer is “one who operates/fixes/maintains machinery”, so I can sympathise that it would be hard to take that title away from the general trades and jobs.I think we need a new designation for “actual engineers” which can be protected, then maybe we won’t be thought of as common scum by the average Joe public.Garry Brown 29th September 2016 at 6:10 pm Interesting post, and I agree that there is a general tendency for poor career development in engineering, which may be putting young people off.In my opinion, this reflects an attitude in the UK that the wider field of technical rolls (technician, engineer, scientist) are less valuable than those in areas such as law and finance.I doubt that making “engineer” (or some title meaning “actual engineer”) protected would help.
I also admit that I would be concerned about where this would leave unqualified bods such as myself, who are currently doing “actual engineering” and along the way, helping some of the new grads to get going in the real world.“We need you to hit the ground running”.This means they only want someone who has been doing that exact same job for the last 3 years.(Yet oddly expect you to be a brash, competent, self motivated, go getter) They require this particularly for technologies that are only 6 months in general use.
But then they also run assessments, despite your 20 years experience, to check your psychological profile, & to see if you can answer a 2nd year theoretical University question of no practical use from a course that couldn’t have existed when you got your degree.You wont get past a recruitment agency unless you fulfill all these tick boxes.So of course there is a permanent skills gap – the lazy greedy bean counters view training time as spending on your ability to get a higher salary elsewhere.JohnB 16th November 2016 at 8:37 pm Totally confused now, i’m an experienced engineer looking for work at the moment after my permanent role turned out to be temporary (not required once I got their major issues sorted out), i’m educated to HNC level in Electronics, but i’ve got 15+ yrs experience.I can’t get past HR departments most of the time, because they value a degree (in any subject) over experience and recruitment agents are 50/50.
I’ve been for some interviews, one was conducted as though interviewing a salesman, I nearly walked out, another I was talked down to by some academic snob of a manager who couldn’t even be bothered to tell me about the role and spent the whole time asking questions related to things I learnt in college but which nobody ever uses in a real work place.I think this whole “industry is crying out for engineers” thing is utter BS, there are few jobs out there and those that do exist the employers want graduates with several years of experience.For the graduates it’s a chicken/egg scenario, can’t get the job with no experience, can’t get experience without a job.For people like me, people who’ve worked their way from the ground up, we get overlooked because HR departments and recruitment agencies are full of academic snobbery.Scapegoat 13th December 2016 at 12:24 am Right, you all have some point here, however dont go far enough to put all the pieces together in a nutshell.
Simply all you need to know about troubles with engineering and alot of tech proffesions no doubt is to read DILBERT! I even worked in a company that had a guy that looked just like him, even had the tie! Its rubbish from the top down, management are failed engineers, HR are just there to represent the company and the engineers are mostly useless and simply play on the poor visability of the managers above.Biggest mistake I ever made to become and engineer, and now thanks to the impossibility of transfering skills and the hideous expense of higher education and the catch 22 of the job market I wont be working again.Oh and I have worked in small firms of 30 all the way to 100k plus head count and several industry sectors and job specialisms and found it all the same.An engineer is a talking tool to be used for the project and disposed off the min it is completed, thanks to UK employment laws, which are the 2nd worst in the developed world you can be redundant same day you are hired with NO comeback.JohnB 16th December 2016 at 9:39 am One month later, still on the job market, still finding employers that want a “graduate” with a “general interest in engineering”.
The stuff i’ve done, the skills I have, if I’m not able to find something soon i’m going have to abandon 15 years experience and change careers.Scapegoat, I totally know what you mean, one of my former bosses (formerly a car salesman) talked his way into promotion, the guy was completely clueless, he got an OU degree in electronics and openly admitted to me that everything he needed for that was on the internet.He had several “big” words he used to repeat all the time to make him look clever in front of non-technical management.He wasn’t a particularly bad boss though, he just used to get the team into trouble by promising the impossible, but it’s people like him that are in these management positions, they’re basically salesmen and expect engineers who can talk utter BS just like them.InsideMan 11th January 2017 at 12:42 pm The hardest part is opening the door.
The way to do it is find a position where the door is half open already.I entered the job market about 8 years ago and was having trouble finding a position with value and growth potential.My key was taking a position which I was over qualified for (lower starting pay) but it allowed me to open the doors and quickly move up within the company.Every company wants to promote within, the trick to that is, “being in”.Find something/somewhere to start (maybe it doesn’t require a graduate degree).
Start low, get inside and then attack from within.Look for those internal promotions after you have gained some experience inside the company.(It doesn’t work everywhere but its a good way to open doors).Desmond Gaeney 12th January 2017 at 2:21 pm The reality is that there are plenty of graduate engineers available.There are probably dozens of Graduate Engineer’s CVs sat in the in boxes of your middle managers right now- being ignored.
When I read comments such as “we cant find graduates with the skills we require” I seriously wonder if the mind set of JIT has polluted the thinking of the leaders within Engineering businesses.Graduates don’t know much, they want to learn and they have amazing potential but unlike traditional hiring where Knowledge Skills and Experience are the bench marks, hiring graduates is a little more like diamond prospecting.Initially what you have is something that resembles a muddy pebble.Cut and polish it however and you might have something valuable.The idea of hiring graduates with experience or of blaming the University system for not providing ready made employees who can hit the ground running is ridiculous.
That is the second and third jobber market and to hire in that market you have to rely on your competitors messing up their graduate program.But would you let your own brightest and best walk down the road to your competition? Surely not.
That is why some people who complete Engineering Degrees tragically drift off into other areas of work.Instead of concentrating on what Graduates don’t have think about what they do have.Hire them on their attitude and potential not on their experience or skills.As revolutionary as this idea might seem in all probability someone probably once hired you using the same criteria.It turned out OK didn’t it? JohnB 18th January 2017 at 10:04 pm InsideMan, there is of course another issue, that of being over qualified/experienced.
With graduates in “mickey mouse” subjects being promoted into management positions over teams of engineers, there is a very good chance that the hiring manager is going see an experienced engineer as a direct threat to their position.Idiots only hire or promote other idiots.It’s very hard to know what technical level to go into any given job interview at, too high and you risk appearing a threat to the manager, but too low and you risk looking like your CV is a lie.Steve D 18th April 2017 at 4:18 pm I’m a specialist recruiter focussing on the electronics sector and primarily recruiting Electronics and Embedded Software Engineers.The companies I recruit for are pretty much all SME’s.
I definitely haven’t seen a shortage of graduates, but I would say that graduates do have a tough time finding a good quality grad or trainee role outside the highly visible and competitive opportunities available with the big engineering firms such as JLR, Thales, BAE etc.The problem for graduates, from what I can see, is that SME’s are often reluctant to recruit them as they are unwilling/can’t afford/don’t have the capacity to give them applied training.They prefer to recruit mid-level or senior engineers that already have the experience they’re looking for as they will be productive more quickly, and won’t require as much training.The problem this short-term thinking causes is that is that there are few opportunities for graduates with SME’s.This stifles new talent coming into the industry and roles are left vacant for a long while as experienced engineers are already in steady roles and rarely come available.
I have 10 or so live roles for mid-senior level engineers, many of which have received 0 applications.I have one graduate design engineer role that received around 400 applicants.This clearly demonstrates that there are a lot of graduates out there that are desperate to get their first role in industry, and that the government and employers are overlooking and taking for granted a massive pool of potential/future talent.STEM graduates come out of university with a qualification, but little practical experience or applied skills that would be attractive to SME employers.Those that have completed a work placement or year in industry are much more attractive to employers and from what I can see, are offered roles much more quickly.
I have a number of suggestions which I feel would improve the situation greatly for graduates, the engineering industry, and the whole economy: 1.) Make university courses more ‘hands on’.Provide a lot more practical training for specific industrial skills.This could be done by using funding to pay for trainers, rather than lecturers repeating hours and hours of theory.Conduct a survey of what skills engineering firms need (now and in the future) and provide training in these areas.
I’m not saying that theory is not important, just that there needs to be a better balance or theory and practical skills development.) Alongside the above, incentivise SME’s by means of grants or breaks to take on students through industrial placements.There are industrial placements available, but they are few and far between.This would increase the number of graduates coming out of university with the practical skills THEY want and need to make their business prosper.
) Create a meaningful campaign to get experienced engineers to go into schools, colleges, and universities and talk about what they do.What their work involves, what they’re creating, how rewarding it is and what route to go down to do the same.This would generate interest in the subject and hopefully encourage more school and college leavers to pursue a career in engineering.) Is a university education the only or best way to ready someone for a career in engineering? The way university education is provided at the moment, I don’t believe so.When I was at university, I felt like I was learning how to pass an exam.
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In hindsight I feel that my time at university didn’t give me any in-depth industrial skills at all.I think an apprenticeship where I am actually learning a trade would have been much more valuable.It has been suggested many times before, but focus more on apprenticeships! Use taxpayers money to pay SME’s to train apprentices Professional custom writing service offers custom essays, term papers, research papers, thesis papers, reports, reviews, speeches and dissertations of superior quality written from scratch by highly qualified academic writers..
It has been suggested many times before, but focus more on apprenticeships! Use taxpayers money to pay SME’s to train apprentices.
It is an investment that would benefit the economy massively.The problem with recruiting into engineering sectors in the UK is a massive issue that I feel is getting worse This page gives details of all projects currently on offer for research towards a DPhil in Materials Science at the Department of Materials, University of Oxford. The website lists Information on fee status can be found at http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/fees-and-funding/fees-and-other-charges. Applications will be .The problem with recruiting into engineering sectors in the UK is a massive issue that I feel is getting worse.It makes my blood boil that seemingly nothing is being done to tackle the issues.I try to do my bit by providing careers advice to my candidates, going to careers fairs and am trying to get permission to go to my local schools and colleges to speak to students about engineering (which is harder than you think to achieve as these days.Unless you can prove you’re not a pedophile, you are automatically assumed to be one).
Elena 4th May 2017 at 10:47 pm Companies have paid for apprenticeship, like, always.This new trend of making people pay to fit their education with a very specific company need is only made possible by the excess of available engineers, so employers can push and ask whatever they want.When I started working 20 years ago, it was not the case at all.Which is logical because when you are 20 and in college you don’t know which of the 1000 companies in the country you want to work for and no one should invest too much time and efforts in making himself employable only by a reduced number of companies, and even before having a contract, ha! As engineers, we received an excellent education in university and learned the basics that allowed us to step into an engineering office and make ourselves useful (not experts from day one, of course).
Later during your professional life is the moment to choose how and when you need to expand your education, and certainly if it is something company specific, the company should pay for that.
Companies prefer engineers that are on VISA’s because they can’t change jobs easily.Also companies can pay them less and the they can be fobbed off with poor pay rises.In addition companies don’t have to train them, so saving them money.Another bonus is that they can get rid of them easily, since the VISA needs constant renewal and they can simply not renew it.Then one engineer on a VISA will help to recruit all of his/her friends also on VISAS from the same country, so more cheap labour.
Then projects will be discussed in Arabic, Hindi ect… British people will not be hired sicne they don’t speak the correct language.Then you leave the UK or find a different career.Jongo 22nd May 2017 at 2:02 pm I’m a retired HNC Mech engineer who left the UK for Australia nearly 50 years ago.The comments I see above both sadden and appal me.Little has changed apparently since I left except that it is now easier to attend university than in my day.
My experience of working with young graduates did not enamour me of their capabilities in the real world, they were lacking in both practical knowledge in their field and particularly in man-management skills.We were project engineers in the mining development field at the time, a common starting point for young engineers.My path had been apprenticeship with day release and night school whilst also learning design draughtsmanship skills at my employment.In my early twenties I had gained the experience of running small projects and supervising and controlling tradesmen of differing skills whilst the graduate boys of similar age had little to no experience and were at distinct disadvantages in performing their duties.This situation no doubt still applies for young university engineer graduates and is why i feel that the current German method of practical training commencing before leaving school followed by apprentice/trainee positions at colleges and/or employers with pathways open for those suitable to progress to higher education/ degree and higher levels is a preferable route.
The quality of their engineering and their dominance in the world engineering scene only testifies to the success of this approach.As others have mentioned here, qualifications of Dr.and the like are typical in the German scene but maybe virtually unknown in UK, certainly here in Aus.A German, indeed any Continental engineer is recognised and addresses as such at all times, eg.‘Herr Ingeneur ‘ ; this respectful address, of course, applies to all professions in most European countries that i am aware of.
Respect of the engineer as a true professional rather than as a tradesman or technician is something completely lacking in both Aus.and Uk in my experience; as I young man i grew tired of telling people that “No I could not fix their car but if they wanted boiler built or a steel rolling mill installed then I was your man.” Rob F 18th July 2017 at 2:36 pm As a father of a son just going into his masters year in Aerospace Engineering this is a very depressing read.Sadly it is backed up by the evidence of watching his progress through his university (top 10 for engineering but not elite).Firstly the dearth of support for finding internships from within the university for what was supposed to be an MEng including a year in industry.
I think all universities should be required to published successful placement rates and banned from advertising their courses as ‘with year in industry’ unless they achieve acceptable levels of placements.The overwhelming majority of his course were unsuccessful in finding a placement.I watched him applying for dozens and saw him subside into depression as the rejections mounted.In the end he has had to go straight onto the masters year still with no industrial experience.All the big companies require candidates to go through aptitude tests.I presume these are contracted out to a recruitment organisation.This is despite being supported by myself, my wife and his peers in the process.As he describes it, if you see 3 people huddled round a laptop in the library chances are they are doing an online recruitment test, so exactly who are they testing.
They should give up the fiction that these are effective in screening in any way.At the end of the process, nothing but rejection, no explanation, no score, nothing.Your applicants give you hours of their time, at least give them some feedback.Trying to bypass these tests is impossible as even with connections we have in the industry you always get sent back to the tests.Nothing wrong with that if the tests are fair (I detest nepotism almost as much as unpaid internships) but Lord alone knows what they are after on some of these tests.
I would love to hear from someone involved with them explain in more detail how they work.My own company uses aptitude test but they are not administered online or used as a filtering process.I have been trying to persuade myself and my son that now he has successfully completed his bachelors degree, narrowly missing a first, he may be looked on more sympathetically but reading your thread does little to encourage me.Ironically he has the soft skills that are said to be so critical in abundance, being an outstanding presenter, organiser and great teamplayer but has never got to a point where he could demonstrate this.I suspect at the end of his masters year he will have the same struggle for employment as many have described above and it will be hard work to dissuade him from scraping together the cash and go off travelling as so many graduates now do.
Be interested to hear what views anyone has on his employability once he returns should he go down this route.Probably the hardest thing has been watching the sheer effort he has put into his studies.I am no engineer but Aerospace Engineering is clearly one of the most challenging disciplines and for all of the negative comments about the quality of the modern degrees the quantitative and coding elements seem pretty testing to me.The other really hard thing to hear is that with the surplus of applicants to the big companies it sounds unlikely that any of them will want him.
Lastly although the thread above his pretty depressing (especially considering how long it has been running) there is useful information and insight in there and I would be grateful for any suggestions I can pass on to my son to help him as he goes into his final year.
It is also high time the article was thoughtfully updated taking account of some of the insightful comment the thread contains.Jip 26th July 2017 at 9:34 am Move to Canada, its still relatively easy, you can apply directly for a permanent residence and with a masters it should be ok… and they like British people, unlike here (foreign hiring managers hire their own).Then with Canadian citizenship (after 5 years) you can go and work in the US under NAFTA relatively easily.British people can’t compete against third worlders on a VISA… British kids have comparatively large debts that need to be serviced, and need to make enough to live in the UK permanently… a third worlder can save a few thousand, live in a room and it’ll be enough to buy a house in their home country and they are happy with that.Plus, employers can save money on training, pay raises, they can be goten rid of by not renewing the VISA and can’t move companies easily if they are treated badly because of the VISA.
… “I presume these are contracted out to a recruitment organisation”… I went for one engineering job in the UK, and had to do a “role play” with actors, who “played the part” of a belligerent and unreasonable CEO (client).I have worked with technical directors and dealt with CEO’s… and they are always interested in options, solutions, and risks… and putting together a sensible plan based on the evidence and common sense.These actors were a joke, they clearly had no clue about anything… I failed the test because i was not “assertive” enough, and found out later i was meant to threaten to pull out of the project then the “CEO actor”, “would have seen reason”.It was totally pathetic, using actors to interview and engineer with 15 years experience….about sums up the UK, in many cases getting past HR (who don’t understand anything, yet have very high opinions of themselves) is the biggest hurdle.
In North America, HR understand that it is the engineers that make the business… and they want to help employees rather than boss them around.Jip 26th July 2017 at 11:33 am Another problem with engineering is that you may well become specialized… so much so that it may be tricky to find a position that wants your exact spectrum of expertise.This is especially true since HR will always want an exact match, because they will have no understanding of your CV of the technical words it contains.Employers know this, and will justify poor pay rises on the basis that it’ll be tricky for you to find something else.Also, if you do become an engineer don’t be too good at it… industry likes to keep good engineers in the same position because they are efficient, while poor engineers will be promoted in to management because they are not adding much value as actual engineers.
JohnB 5th November 2017 at 9:53 pm Jip, we live in a world that expects people to conform, to fit a stereotype, to be pigeon holed as specialising in one thing.To be effective in engineering you need a vast array of knowledge, skills and experience, especially when it comes to problem solving.The world of engineering is at odds with the world of the office, we are not understood at all and being multi-skilled is viewed both as a “jack of all trades, master of none” and as something to be feared by those who have taken that route of specialising in one field, and finally being a “non-conformist” gets you distrusted very quickly by lots of people.David Waring 19th December 2017 at 11:17 am Well how things have changed since the 1970s.Employers continue to be unwilling to train yet complain they cannot find staff.
HR executives lacking an awareness of their own company structures continue to filter staff on the basis of paper qualifications alone.Managers with Management qualifications (and usually little else) seek management replacements.My son was offered a post as a project manager and walked away from one company commenting it might be better if they trained him in some necessary product awareness skills before a Project Management job.TKF 14th March 2018 at 1:56 pm Sounds like things a grim in the UK.I graduated in Australia with a pass degree in Electrical Engineering from a good university and could not get any job except fixing circuit boards as a technician – which was actually fine – and although some companies I applied to later were disdainful others were not and I ended up doing mostly control systems engineering for heavy industry like mines.
What I noticed in work immediately was just how much better it would have been to be an electrician.Those who were interested were allowed to work on anything I did and they were usually paid more, and if they just wanted to run cable they could do that too.In general control engineering is in very great demand and once you can prove you can do it you will have no trouble getting a job, although what is taught in university in the field I found to be almost completely useless.It is a very stressful job as the control guy is the last in the line for commissioning a plant and everybody knows it is his fault when things go wrong.Things are getting more complicated too, particularly in robotics and automation which are so time critical.
The environments can also be pretty unpleasant.It eventually burnt me out after ten years.I just cannot care anymore when I am being shouted at by a client for not commissioning a system wracked with fundamental flaws that was written by somebody else.My advice to any who are not the top of the class but interested in industrial power and control systems is: do an apprenticeship and become a sparky and work your way up by experience.At least when you burn out you can just go a wire up houses.
A civil engineering friend was earning $1000 a day in New Guinea but he gave it up and became a plumber.The other second rate engineering role is the office job where there nothing to do.You will be wondering when the management will actually find out you are doing nothing and taking initiative is a sure way to alert them.Fundamentally, engineering is a risk probably not worth taking.
Anyone with any imagination gets out before they burn out or are considered too specialized to down skill.john cox 10th April 2018 at 3:51 pm Sounds as though you are looking for a challenge !! but are you !! I am starting up a new enterprise without an existing client base in battery propulsion intended for use in the marine market ( recreational ).Premises have been purchased in Lymington,Hants.If you have drive, determination and commercial/technical sense, there is an opportunity to get involved in a start-up, and if you are able to show and prove your worth, you would then be given a stake in the business ( shares ).