Our need for engineers

imagesI am proud after many years of working for a charity and a financial services company that over the last 8 years I have been part of an engineering based company. The role began as a part time one for me and has now become full time. The fact that my own qualifications in engineering have finally found a place of focus adds to my sense of satisfaction as the business has grown substantially over the last 5 years. Next week we are hoping to recruit a new employee to add to our workforce. The role is one that in effect we would term an apprenticeship role, if there were suitable training sources to assist in a formal way. However we will do what we have done with our last three ‘apprentices’ over the last 4 years and do our best to instruct and inform whoever is appointed and bring in the training elements we know about from outside the business. The challenges we as a company face are a microcosm of the issues being covered in this news report from early April when the gap for engineers to fulfil large scale projects such as HS2 was discussed. Thankfully our capacity to grow will mean we will never need 182,000 people! The skills our business demands means that our engineers and technicians need to know about building construction, about networking and electrical cabling, about IT and also about the nuances of our own industry. As things stand there are no suitable single courses that bring together all or even most of these elements. Of the companies in our industry, our small business which has grown from being a micro enterprise is potentially one of the most diverse in terms of the skills we have within the company. A number of years ago we helped to design and build a specialist lens for a projector that is in use in a FMRI scanner in our local University. We have designed a number of pieces of hardware that enables us to fit standard AV devices in places and in ways that even the manufacturers did not plan for. We are also the leading AV company in the UK when it comes to Assistive Listening (Hearing Loops) as measured by the number of people who are listed on the Institute of Sound and Communication Engineers (ISCE) register. We are keen to work with educational providers to help them shape their offerings so that the new and developing apprenticeships and even degrees are more suited to businesses that are specialist in an every day sort of a manner. The closer we get to this objective, the better trained our industry will be. Let us hope our new appointment next week will be someone who gains more skills and feels better trained than the technicians who began 4 years ago!

About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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