Tag: CBI

Bonuses up for Scientific and Technical Sector

Is the financial balance starting to move in favour of engineering?

According to the Office of National Statistics £42 billion of bonuses were paid out in Britain for year ending March 2015.

It is significant to note that the biggest sector drop was in the financial and insurance industries where there was a near 10% drop on the previous year.

Meanwhile in the rest of this economy the bonuses rose by 9.7% – and the sector with the biggest increase in bonuses was the professional scientific and technical services up £0.9bn on the previous year.

Let’s hope that these are a reflection that the engineering and technical sector is faring well in the economy and that in order to attract the best people companies and research establishments must reward people well. read more

Handbags more important than Engineering signals Business Editor

If ever there was an  indicator of the way UK media view engineering it could be seen in last Friday’s issue of the Daily Telegraph.

A single page in the business section presented the year-end figures of two companies.  AIM listed handbag maker Mulberry making £1.9m profit on a turnover of £110m, and FTSE250 WS Atkins the innovative engineering company making £122m profit on a revenue of £1.76bn.

Which gets the most airspace? …. yes, you’ve guessed it, HANDBAGS by a mile.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 14.04.56Mulberry commands much of the broadsheet page including a large photograph of Cara Delevingne, plus handbag and owl, alongside a smaller shot of CEO Godfrey Davis. read more

Don’t Knock Jony Ive’s Passion

Following the recent launch of iPhone 6 and iWatch Yahoo’s Tech Columnist Rob Walker took a tilt at Jony Ive’s video presentations.

Now I know they’re high profile (and much mimicked) but we should be applauding Ive’s love of engineering and the way he underlines the skills of the Apple team, not belittling it.  If only there were more such engineers around, particularly here in Ive’s home country the UK.

What Jonathan underlines is that behind these products lie innovations, at many levels, which the vast majority of our consumer society just take for granted.

It’s done in a way that is low on tech speak, makes you look more closely at the product, and leads you to realise they result from the collective effort of dozens of creative engineers. Yes engineering is very creative! read more

Engineers are wired differently

When it comes to solving problems engineers are geniuses. Our government and society looks to them to provide solutions to the big issues of the day, be they global warming, power generation, communications, infrastructure and many more.

So with such a reputation it’s surprising that there is one dilemma beyond the capabilities of this select group of resourceful thinkers.

“How to attract the young to join their ranks?”

Engineers work around systems, facts and figures but this is one situation where hard data won’t contribute to the solution. Attracting people into a sector relies upon softer values, emotional issues and factors that lie outside the professional comfort zones of most engineers. It’s something that can’t be measured or predicted. read more

Women don’t talk Engineering

If the world of public speaking is an indicator of public interests then women and engineering just don’t mix.

Women Speakers has a roster of guest speakers upon which to call. 293 highly articulate women able to present and discuss diverse subjects across 109 categories –  from art and history to gardening, education, fashion, health, business etc.  Yet nowhere does an engineer or engineering feature.

Granted there are commentators with a science background but their focus tends to be around planet earth’s issues such as ecology and global warming.

We, in the developed world, are surrounded by technology and engineering that just a few generations ago would have been inconceivable. Even the future thinkers of your great, great grandparent’s era could not have imagined the world in which many of us live today be it cooking a meal, travel, shopping, being entertained or recovering in hospital –  I could go on. read more

Young Women who Love Engineering

Engineering envelops every aspect of our lives, yet here in Britain it is much undervalued by a huge percentage of the population. According to a study by the Robert Bosch Group only 23% of the young think Engineering is of any importance to our economy.

So why aren’t the young, and girls in particular, being attracted into Engineering? Last year only 400 girls completed engineering apprenticeships, whilst 58,600 studied Health and Social Care.

The image of engineers as greasy men in dungarees or hardhats, faced with factory closures has been hard to shrug off. It has prejudiced the views of many parents and teachers in guiding teenagers away from careers in engineering. read more

David Cameron, a rivet, and the casino culture

The banking fraternity’s casino culture destroyed any true balance of reward for effort. It created a get rich culture that imploded.

In this humorous yet serious clip Stephen Bayley argues that we must return to a society that understands and values engineering and manufacturing.

Engineering is grounded in a respect for human skills. Engineering underpins every aspect of our day to day lives, yet as a nation we seem to take it for granted.

Engineering creates the products we can export to pay for our enormous national debt. The nation owes a staggering £40,840 for every employed person in the UK.

Innovative engineering offers the opportunity of new ideas that will benefit society as a whole. If we do not invest in our future we are passing on an enormous financial liability to the next generation. read more

The Importance of Making Things

‘Why would anyone in their right mind choose a career in engineering when effort versus return clearly favours banking, law, politics or medicine’   states David Watson in his letter to the Times January 8.

Well life’s not all about money as Stephen Bayley explains.  Making things is hugely gratifying to the individual but also to society at large.

The great changes to the way we live were not created by bankers, lawyers or politicians, but by engineers.

Career Guidance for Engineers

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 19.01.11Career guidance has been much maligned of late, in particular the lack of it for engineering. Just last week I discovered www.icould.com, an excellent initiative using the power of modern media.

It’s early days for icould but with the support of a growing number of companies it has the potential to be the destination for young people seeking ideas for their future across the whole employment spectrum.

For engineering there is however one very telling video. A young man, wondering what to do with his life, is sent to an engineering company, close to his home, to apply for an apprenticeship. He is eventually successful but admits that it wasn’t until the end of the second interview that he understood what the company did. read more

Attracting Women into Engineering

Robert Lea in The Times 

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 14.10.39

BAE  sponsors a think tank to try to puzzle out why few women, and in particular ethnic minority women venture into engineering.

Sadly it’s always the same big companies BAE, JCB, Rolls Royce, Land Rover etc that get quoted whilst the real employment opportunities lie in the other 400,00 + small to medium British engineering companies.

The big problem for the majority of these SMEs is that they do not present a public face which is attractive to  women in general, whatever their ethnic background.  These companies tend to be hardnosed, data driven, and the idea of an image which is employee friendly hasn’t yet arrived. read more