I read with interest the editor's comments (NCE last week), which stated that civil engineering has never been so exciting and diverse. I agree that the diversity of work now undertaken is much wider than say 20 years ago.
We are also aware that applications for civil engineering university courses are declining and that many civils graduates head for the financial haven of other professions. If we are going to make the industry more attractive to either sex, then I believe we need to be realistic about how practical experience is obtained.
The 'ideal' scenario of structured training in highways design followed by a period in railways before continuing the tour as an environmental specialist is no longer the norm.
Obviously an employer would rather have an experienced engineer do a particular job than spend time and money educating another.
Gaining experience in different disciplines should be encouraged to prevent graduates from being pigeonholed too early in their careers.
Surely companies would rather have graduates moving within their own four walls than leave and gain experience with competitors?
Andy Lee (G) firstname.lastname@example.org