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Engineering firms not engaging with students, says academic

Civil engineering firms are struggling to recruit graduates because they are not engaging with students and universities, academics and skills advisors said this week.
Speaking at a round table discussion on skills in the industry hosted by NCE and consultant MWH, Professor Robert Mair of Cambridge University urged companies to do more.'Industry must woo the students. It is very important that civil engineering courses remain at the cutting edge and that they are motivating, encourage creativity and excitement. Industry has an important part to play which is currently untapped. There is a huge opportunity for companies to play a greater role in courses,' said Professor Mair.Students taking part in NCE's 'How to get a job in civil engineering' event sponsored by WSP agreed that companies could do more. 'I find that my projects are totally out of context with the real world. It ticks me off more than anything,' said one final year student.Students said that certain firms and didn't tell them basic information about life as a civil engineer. Mair told the round table debate that there are many opportunities for companies to be more involved, such as through giving lectures, acting as visiting professors and increasing the number of summer placements.A full review of the skills debate will be in NCE 4/11 January 2007

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