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11 May 2006, News release from Morgan Lang
It is encouraging to see that the importance of environmental issues is being reported more and more, making companies and the general public more aware of their surroundings on both a local and global level.
Never before have there been so many issues to address with regard to the protection of our environment and water supplies. The belief finally seems to have hit home that realising our responsibilities to the environment can bring with it a social as well as an economic benefit.
Companies are at last recognising the importance of Social Responsibility meaning that they have to look further than their own back yard when implementing a more environmentally friendly policy. The role of the supply chain and how it will impact on the environment is of fundamental importance and should not be underestimated.
So with all this activity in the market how do prospects look for employers and employees alike. As much of the activity, whether it is within the Water or Environmental sector, is legislation led either from the UK or Europe it means that these change have to take place within an agreed timescale.
Sounds like good news for all of us except that many of the technical skills required to implement these changes take many years to acquire either by study or experience. As there has been a decline in the number of students studying engineering disciplines, this has led to a massive skill shortage within the Engineering sector a fact realised by the government that led to changes within the regulations for employing people from outside of the UK.
As these sectors continue to expand the demand for qualified engineers had also increased meaning that companies need to find new and innovative ways to attract and retain skilled engineers, starting with the education process of making sure that more school and college leavers are going on to study an engineering discipline at university.
From a recruitment viewpoint this shortage poses many problems in a rapidly expanding sector. Marcus Simmons from Morgan Lang commented, "In the current market recruitment consultancies seem to have many more requirements within this thriving sector than they do suitable candidates making the current situation very much an employees' market".
At any time if the pendulum of opportunity swings too far in favour of either employers or employees the market becomes unstable which has an unsettling effect upon the whole market sector.
So what is the answer? Well education is not a tap that can be turned on and off at will. It needs to be planned and sustained and not a political football. Students from an early age need to be made aware of the exciting opportunities within the engineering sectors, encouraging them to continue their education at university studying an engineering discipline.
Once this has been achieved the balance will be redressed and the market stabilised with UK engineers once again being in the forefront of world engineering.
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