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Signing up to the public arena

YOUNG ENGINEERS have the chance to hone their public speaking skills in the 1999 NCE communication competition.

Last year many of the 2,000 engineers who entered gained their first experience of public speaking, extolling the virtues of an imaginary scheme to a sceptical audience.

Assistant director of engineering Robert Huxford said: 'The 1999 competition is more relevant than ever. Annual budgets will hinge on effective public consultation and communication, according to the Government's draft guidance on Local Transport Plans. The shift towards best value also has communciation at its core.'

The competition is a public meeting based on a fictional road scheme, landfill or town centre development. Teams of three to five people have to produce a leaflet to outline their scheme, tackling national policy issues and local concerns. Each team member then contributes to a 30 minute presentation.

The competition is open to those aged 35 or under. At least 50% of the team must be in some grade an ICE member including the team leader. There are three rounds, a divisional, a regional and the finals which are held on the opening night of the AME conference in York on 21 June 1999. Prize money is sponsored by NCE with the winning team receiving 500, second 300 and third 200.

Deadline for entries is 18 December. Entries cost 78 per team. For more details contact Claire Hartley, tel: (0171) 665 2213.

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