The Profession

The BBC managed to ire me on Sunday with this news item on vocational training at 14. I was in the car and the news (on Radio 2) kept insisting on calling engineering a ‘vocation’. No wonder engineering has an image problem. They could have chosen to talk about actual vocations, such as hairdressing, car […]

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Visualising the skills shortage

by mel starrs on August 26, 2008

in The Profession

I’ve talked before about the skills shortage in our industry, but the graphic I used then didn’t illustrate quite as well as this one why we are feeling the effects quite so strongly.  Look at that blip around 60 years old.  These guys (and gals) are retiring or have just retired or will in the […]

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Engineers – a protected species – part deux

by mel starrs on February 28, 2008

in The Profession

Remember about a year ago there was an epetition floating around regarding the use of the word engineer? Because I signed up to the petition (along with 1,726 others), I received the response in my email. I’ve copied it out in full in case anyone’s too lazy to click through. Basically, they aren’t going to […]

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Creative engineers?

by mel starrs on November 19, 2007

in The Profession

Spotted this great retort to Jonathan Glancey from Chris Wise in the Guardian: This need is poorly served by specialised research universities and corporate engineering practice, rooted as it is in the postwar era and a scientific tendency to avoid responsibility. Nowadays, sums are so easy that many engineers try to analyse their way to […]

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Skills shortage

by mel starrs on April 18, 2007

in The Profession

I’ve had many a conversation over the past few months lamenting the lack of engineers available for hire at senior and associate level. These figures from 2004 show that we’re not imagining this shortfall – look at the massive gap in age bracket 40-44: General concensus is that in the early 90′s when the industry […]

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Are we ready for open source engineering?

by mel starrs on April 16, 2007

in The Profession

   Launched recently is OpenArchitectureNetwork.org. Although still in beta, the idea is proposing:   “an open-source online space where architects and engineers can share their ideas with organizations and community leaders that are seeking design solutions for coping with the aftermath of natural disasters and political conflict. In addition to forging connections between socially responsible […]

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Sunday Times Top 100 Companies

by mel starrs on March 12, 2007

in The Profession

It’s that time of the year again – some companies rate it of more use than IIP accreditation for staff recruitment and retention – the Sunday Times Best 100 companies to work for. The pick of the industry below:    2007 2006 Employer Sector   16 14 Drivers Jonas Property   17 16 King Sturge Property   27 […]

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More on Train to Gain and the LSC

by mel starrs on March 10, 2007

in The Profession

via Paul Miller‘s delicious links, I found some scathing insights into the Train to Gain programme here on the BBC. Shame I missed this before I wrote this post. Sir Digby Jones, skills envoy for the government and ex-CBI bod, criticises government funding and other various quangos likening the process to British Leyland: “you put […]

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Summit Skills – Train to Gain

by mel starrs on March 8, 2007

in The Profession

I don’t seem to have mentioned Summit Skills before although it’s been on my radar for a few months. Back in August Summit Skills were working on a sector skills agreement for building services. More details here. 5 stages have been identified for the project: What skills do we have now and need in the […]

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I’m deep into research for the dreaded MBA dissertation and I thought I’d share my new found knowledge with you all. For instance, did you know prior to 1982, ACE and RIBA fee scales were in place in the UK and the markets for both engineering consultancy and architecture were fixed? I had no idea […]

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