Never have NCE’s annual Graduate Awards, launched this week, been so vital an encouragement and boost to our anxious young engineers. David Hayward outlines the rewards on offer. Click here to enter.
More from: NCE Graduate Awards 2009 - enter now!
Last summer new civils graduates could pick and choose their employers. This year only the very best are being picked at all as our industry reports a staggering 40% drop in its annual graduate intake.
The current hot debate centres on graduates accepting non paid work to at least start gaining industry experience. We hear less about action our employers should be taking now to help retain that graduate base essential for sustained growth when the downturn reverses.
And it is not just this latest batch of talent that is nervous. Last year’s graduates, with just a year’s training under their belts, see redundancy all around them. Yet, with the low intake of new blood this summer, the class of 2008 fear stagnation and promotion delays as employers – to coin that terrible expression – ‘rightsize’ to fit workload.
Now, more than ever, graduates need our industry’s support. Now, more than ever, NCE’s Graduate Awards - launched this week - offer a vital slice of praise, pride, encouragement and cash to our profession’s future leaders.
So everyone who cares about construction’s long term health - from chief executives and training directors to team leaders and mentors - should be urging their eligible graduates to enter our prestigious awards right now.
To qualify you should have graduated with a civil engineering - or similar - degree anytime last year. Postgraduate MSc degrees are fine so long as they followed on immediately after the first degree.
You will now hopefully be experiencing your first post grad year in industry and we will judge you equally on engineering flair and enthusiasm as well as academic ability. We are not looking primarily for uni whizkids; but good all round young engineers determined to enjoy Monday mornings.
Click here for full details and to download an entry form. Tell us your achievements so far; enthuse about your enthusiasm for civil engineering and leave the rest to us.
Despite employer cutbacks, an impressive group of our leading companies have again seen it a priority to support these respected and unparalleled awards. Our sponsors’ senior directors will judge all entries and interview the six finalists.
This top group will be guests of honour at our December presentation lunch at the ICE, where they will share over £2700 worth of cash and a room-full of praise from industry leaders. The supreme winner receives £1000, a special trophy and a meeting with the Construction Minister.
And back at the office or site, these finalists will doubtless receive another valuable prize - unprecedented early recognition from their employers. Note what our last two winners say!
Just entering offers a unique CV addition. This year, for the first time, we can offer any entrant valuable feedback on your entry; performance, scoring and judges’ comments.
So if you graduated in 2008 enter now. There is nothing to lose and potentially a shed load to gain.
Past winners on why you should enter
2008 - Emma Kent
Within days of becoming our current champion, Buro Happold structural engineer Emma Kent was enjoying a working breakfast with her managing director. She has since presented her company’s views on development in China to a major conference and last month was guest of honour at the ICE’s graduates and students papers competition.
“My award undoubtedly got me noticed and, in these nervous times, we graduates must sell ourselves and our skills much more rigorously” says the 23 year old. “Entering is win-win operation.”
2007 - Rob Harding
Arup geotechnical engineer Rob Harding, now based in Australia, was relatively settled on Crossrail design until his 2007 award helped catapult him to Las Vegas and then Brisbane to work on two of the most challenging tunnelling jobs anywhere.
“The award definitely contributed to my early exposure to these major projects” he asserts. “What better way to start a career; definitely have a go.”