Five major UK engineering companies have become the first to back a new ICE, IET and IMeche campaign to promote routes for technicians and engineering apprentices to professionally register as Engineering Technicians (EngTech) and enhance their career prospects.
The ‘EngTechNow’ campaign - first announced by the Prime Minister last summer - officially launched this week during National Apprenticeship Week. It aims to increase the status of Engineering Technicians, who play a crucial hands-on role in engineering in the UK – and register 100,000 Engineering Technicians by 2020.
Senior figures at the construction project Crossrail, global defence company BAE Systems, civil engineering contractors Bam Nuttall, engineering and project management consultants Atkins and engineering, IT and facilities firm NG Bailey, this week committed to increasing the number of EngTechs in their own workforce.
But the EngTechNow campaign is urging more companies to recognise that those who have come through vocational and apprenticeship routes can achieve professional status as Engineering Technicians.
ICE Director General, Nick Baveystock, has written to civil engineering company CEOs this week asking for support for the campaign.
“In order for this programme to succeed and achieve its ambitious target we need, and seek, the support of the UK’s leading employers” he said in the letter. “We would be grateful were you able to support this initiative, the first time the three major professional engineering institutions have joined forces in such a meaningful way, by placing this qualification at the heart of your own programmes.”
Commenting on the campaign Baveystock added: “Engineering technicians form a vital part of the skills mix, offering specialist skills and techniques and solving complex problems - ultimately they help to deliver infrastructure projects efficiently and on time.
“It is important that we boost the status of those who have come through the apprentice route and show youngsters and employers the different paths that can lead to a lifelong career in civil engineering – one that can quite literally shape the world in which we live.”
Steve Fox, Chief Executive of BAM Nuttall Ltd, also commented: “In light of the skills shortage and with rising tuition fees, industry must face up to its responsibilities in developing the skills of the next generation.
As a business we have invested heavily in our apprenticeship programmes for over 10 years and these are now aligned with our professional development programme. We encourage Bam Nuttall apprentices to achieve EngTech as it demonstrates they have met an independent standard of competence and we are pleased to support the campaign.”