LOW FEES and rising skills shortages in construction have prompted a new campaign to improve the profile of consulting engineers.
Launched this week by the Association of Consulting Engineers (ACE), the 'Engineering the future' campaign aims to highlight the talents of the profession and remind clients of the value that can be brought to their businesses.
'Engineering consultants are the UK's best kept secret, ' said ACE communications director Andy Walker. 'Much of their work is high profile but is often hidden. For clients, engineering consultants are the best professionals to bring in early in a project to provide value-added solutions.'
ACE chief executive Nicholas Bennett added that while engineers' work was 'central to all our lives', the profile of the profession remained low among clients and the public.
'Fees charged by the industry do not compare with those of other professions As a consequence, the rewards are also, in general, not comparable, ' he said.
The ACE plans to lobby central and local government and client organisations, and hold meetings with consultants to drive the campaign and generate debate.
The campaign will highlight the benefit of procurement strategies which use consultants as advisers rather than providers of commodity services, and will encourage best practice initiatives among engineers.
Recruitment and training strategies will also be launched to attract high-calibre recruits to the profession.
'We need to find solutions to these challenges so the profession secures its future viability, ' said Walker.
INFOPLUS www. acenet. co. uk