The letter from Mike Naylor (NCE last week) rang some bells. We've been harping on about poor pay in the industry for over 40 years, so is it any wonder that there is now a skills shortage?
This is due to a variety of reasons, but I concur with Naylor's view that the ICE has done little to improve the situation. Last week I saw an advert for technical training in a local magazine that read: 'You can be a fully trained engineer in only two weeks. . .', which I suppose sums up where we are.
We have far too many institutions representing different but related parts of our profession. There is a never-ending, somewhat elitist xation with training and qualications that is highly confusing, even to people within the profession. So what chance do outsiders have?
At the same time we see many of the top jobs in engineering go to people who have no engineering qualication. Whether that is right or wrong, it inevitably lowers the status of the engineer.
Why is it that so few engineers seem to make it to chief executive level? Could it be that our training and career paths somehow ignore the type of qualities that top jobs require? It is only when we recognise this situation, and address it, that engineers will make their mark in society.
Until our profession wakes up to these kinds of home truth I think we can expect another 40 years of 'business as usual'.
Alan Lovell (F), alan.lovell3@ntlworld. com