A course dedicated to technician engineers wishing to become technician or EngTech members of the ICE has been an ambition of training provider Reader Jenkins for some time now.
'We want to start offering courses that will give students a level 3 NVQ qualification and that could be recommended by the ICE, ' says managing consultant Thom Currie.
'We are already talking to two major contractors about offering their technician engineers a structured route towards becoming EngTech qualified. NVQs are becoming more palatable in the industry. People used to turn their noses up at them.' Meanwhile the firm has built up a portfolio of short foundation courses for graduate engineers.
Subjects covered include waste water treatment, potable water, highway engineering and waste management. Its latest foundation course is in railway civil engineering.
Wastewater and waste management foundation courses have been particularly popular as the industry responds to European Union wastewater and waste management directives, he adds.
'The courses are ideal for engineers moving jobs to work in another discipline and needing specialist knowledge in a subject that was only broadly covered in their degree course.' The foundation courses have the added advantage of counting towards the additional work-based learning needed to become a chartered engineer.
Looking to the future, Currie predicts more demand for courses relating to the latest NEC contract form which is due to be published soon and NVQs aimed at site managers needing to obtain site certification CSCS cards.
But he does not see e-learning as a panacea for the future: 'People who have been sitting in front of their computer all day do not really want to do their training sitting in front of a computer as well.'