Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Aussie worker highlights lack of vigilance on qualifications

Firms and agencies are employing engineers without checking their education record, NCE has learnt this week.

An Australian contractor, working in a specialist sector, says he has worked in his field of engineering for several years since arriving in the UK. He has frequently changed job, but has not once been asked for a copy of his degree certificate.

"I have never been asked for my degree since I have worked in the UK," he said. "I have only just got my work visas, and now work with a contractor. Before, I was working through employment agencies."

The contractor, who wished to remain anonymous, says UK contractors, consultants and agencies are "desperate" for skilled workers, and that foreign and domestic workers are rarely asked for evidence of their training.

He adds that the same culture existed in Australia before he moved to the UK. "I have been out of university for 10 years, and have not been asked for my degree at any point," he said.

And he has first-hand experience of people taking jobs they may be underqualified for. "I do know of people who have less experience than they should have," he said.

According to Hays Consulting Engineering recruitment consultant Catherine Whipps, job applicants do not routinely have their qualifications checked, although their references will be checked.

"The clients do not tend to mind if the degree or HND is in engineering, but in specialist areas, clients will tend to ask about experience," said Whipps.

"People sometimes bring their degrees, but they are not really relevant unless the applicant is applying for a visa."

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.