Mirror Works: ENGINEER A TOP NEW CAREER; Guide Hammers Home How You Can Hit the Heights in a Great Profession HERE'S the Second Part of Our Four-Part, Information-Packed Series Giving You the Lowdown on Four Major Areas of Work: Catering, Engineering, Pub Management, and Office and Secretarial. Today LAURETTE ZIEMER Tells You All You Need to Know about the World of Engineering
Ziemer, Laurette, The Mirror (London, England)
THEY are the people behind jumbo jets, brain scanners, skyscrapers, wind farms... even that pair of trainers you bought last week.
Engineers dream up, design and build almost everything we come into contact with in our daily lives.
And with 76,000 companies employing 1.7 million engineers, there are tens of thousands of job opportunities every year in a vast field of disciplines. Just listen to those in the know:
THE EXPERT'S VIEW (1)
EVERYWHERE you look there are engineers, says Dave Rodham, head of careers and education at the Engineering And Marine Training Authority. "It's no longer about heavy industries, dust and oil. We're talking robotics, mobile phones, computers... engineers are behind it all.
"Even in food production you won't see many cooks with little white coats on - it's all about machinery and tins."
The industry is crying out for people with the urge to create, design and construct.
"We need bright, practical people to take us into the future," says Dave. "Whether you're highly numeric or have great computer skills, there's something out there in engineering."
If you see yourself as a high-flier designer then you'll need A-level maths and science before going onto a relevant degree and/or specialist training within a company. "The industry rates NVQs highly," says Dave. "They show that you have a specific skill." When it comes to finding a job, Dave says it is important to convince a company that you are worth the expense of training: Do whatever it takes to show them you are bright and prepared to work hard."
EMTA careers hotline is on 0800 282167 or visit www.emta.org.uk
THE EXPERT'S VIEW (2)
CONTRARY to myth, engineering is not a dirty business. And it's certainly not dull or boring, says Dave Rowley Education Liaison Manager for BAE Systems. "It's our job to prove this to young people to keep them studying some of the harder subjects such as maths and science which are a must." Every BAE Systems site in the country - and there's at least 60 of them employing 75,000 people - has someone liaisoning with schools and colleges to show what engineering is all about.
There is also the newly launched Engineering Our Future programme, linked to the BAE Systems Mind Zone at the Millennium Dome, which is taking the message into classrooms across the country.
"We have to find the right people to lead us into the future," says Dave. Every year BAE recruits 1,500 people, 85 per cent of them engineers. Five hundred are placed on modern apprenticeships while 1,000 are graduates, the majority with engineering degrees.
Before they take someone on - especially those looking for modern apprenticeships - candidates go through a number of tests. "We're not only looking for the necessary interest in engineering and the academic skills with maths and science," says Dave. "We want to see if a person has the scope for development."
Foreign languages are increasingly important and computer skills are another key requirement. "The days of geeks in anoraks are gone - we're not just boffins. We needed all-rounders with a passion for engineering."
Contact your local BAE for job opportunities or the web site www.baesystems.com Graduates should call 01252 384420.
WOMEN IN ENGINEERING
EMTA has just launched its Insight 2000 programme to encourage young woman into engineering. First-year sixth formers studying maths and science are invited to spend a week at a university alongside female students and taken on day placements to key industries to see women at work.
"We don't have enough women in the industry but it is getting better," says Dave Rodham of EMTA. "They now represent 13 per cent of engineers but we're aiming for 51 per cent - the percentage of women in society." Contact 0800 282167 for details of the scheme. …