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Civil Engineers, Your Country Needs You!

21-November-2016 12:39
in General
by Stellamar

Civil Engineering is a profession which contributes to so many parts of our daily life. From the water we drink, to the lights in our home, to the bridge we cross to get to work, civil engineering is a huge part of the world around us.

Unsurprisingly then, there is a growing necessity for civil engineers in the UK but a huge shortage of engineers which has been highlighted by the government as well as the industry itself, which seems to have been an ongoing issue.

Potential for growth is exponential with EngineeringUK reporting that “the sector will need to recruit 2.2million candidates over the next five to 10 years to meet the demand. That amounts to a 40% increase, primarily driven by sector growth.”

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) was formed when three engineers met in a coffee shop in 1818, struggling to attract members over the next two years the appointed Thomas Telford to become the first president of ICE. He managed to boost numbers and secure a Royal Charter in 1828.

Facing an urgent need today for over 1 million new engineers and technicians in engineering jobs, women are still only make up 10 percent of the workforce in the industry - according to the Royal Academy of Engineering.

As one of the biggest names in engineering history, Mary Fergusson graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc Hons in Civil Engineering in 1936 and progressed as a partner in prestigious Scottish firm Blyth & Blyth – the first female to hold such a position in a civil engineering company.

After an incredibly successful career, contributing to some of the biggest infrastructure projects, Fergusson seemingly recognised a shortage and after retiring in 1978 she contributed her earnings to help fund a university bursary for young engineers.

With such a sociological forward step for females it is therefore surprising that this gender gap is still an issue within civil engineering. EngineeringUK recently reported that the UK economy could benefit from an added £27 billion from 2020 but we would need twice as many civil engineering graduates to enter engineering companies.

National Women in Engineering Day (NWED), was organised in 2014 and has run successfully for the last two years, creating a huge awareness for women in IT, infrastructure and aviation and recognise the career opportunities available.

The skills shortage is not a gender debate, it’s merely an observation of one of the ways that a career in engineering can be promoted to help fill the skills gap

This leaves us to conclude that civil engineering is still not being encouraged enough, especially for females, from an educational level. The talent pool is small and the jobs are plenty, with an ageing workforce to contend with; if the industry, government and educational institutions do not increase efforts to ensure that engineering is an attractive career, the UK could lose the reputation for engineering excellence it currently has.

Are you a civil engineer looking for the next step in your career? If you want to capitalise on the civil engineering jobs we currently have – please contact our office on 02381 590059 or visit our website to speak to one of our dedicated team.


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