Graduates in the Engineering Industry
11 July 2017
It is the time of year where many college and university graduates will be looking to move in to the Scottish Engineering industry on a permanent basis. It will be an exciting time for many as they look to apply their experience and learning to a job they are passionate about.
The Scottish government has, in recent years, invested heavily in attracting school leavers in to STEM degree courses such as Engineering in order to secure the future of the industry. There is already huge demand for STEM skills, knowledge and capability in Scotland’s economy. With our national Engineering exports in the billions, the increased prevalence of highly skilled graduates will only further enable Scottish firms who are looking to compete on a global scale.
A recent feature in The Engineer magazine spoke of the need to go further than this. It details the need for ‘industry ready’ graduates who have combined their degree learning with hundreds of hours of practical, hands-on experience at home and overseas.
The anticipated skills gap is something that has long cast a shadow over the Engineering industry. Whilst Modern Apprenticeships have done all they can to ameliorate the problem, they don’t offer the long term solution that ‘industry ready’ graduates would. That being said, the calibre of candidate emerging from the apprentice programmes is second-to-none and many go on to flourish within the industry.
The new degree programmes suggested in The Engineer would be designed to meet the needs of your industry, and help a business grow. By learning through experience, candidates would develop and refine their new skills to suit your business and your customers. This would be incredibly advantageous for smaller firms. It may also stop Engineering candidates from moving away from their degree to work in another field of expertise, as is often the case.
It’s all about creating a positive impact on the industry, with graduates being able to hit the ground running when joining a business. The UK as a whole is set to invest in research and development so that the Engineering market can compete in terms of technological advancements.
On the flipside of this, it is crucial that smaller, niche Engineering firms make their presence known at university and college fairs in order to attract new talent. Competition to attract the best graduates is fierce, and smaller firms often end up losing out to the bigger names, especially if they cannot offer ongoing training. If graduates don’t know about a company and what they do, it will be impossible for them to want to pursue a career there. Make starting salaries and opportunities to progress clear are also good ways to tempt graduates in to joining your business.
It is important that the Engineering industry is maintained and developed. One way of doing this is by attracting eager new talent, and providing them with the right kind of experience from degree level upwards.
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Written By Natalie McGeoch