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Training chiefs say no to BEng graduate scheme

THE EXTRA year of academic study needed by future BEng graduates to become Chartered civil engineers will be unrealistic in the early years of working life, a conference at Nottingham Trent University heard last week.

Training managers invited to discuss the ICE's New Routes to Membership, which come into effect this year, argued that it would be asking too much of BEng graduates to combine a 'matching section' with initial professional development.

AMEC training manager Mike Butcher led the rejection of an employer led 'matching section' done by distance learning over two years or more.

'In the demanding early years I don't see this working. I would prefer graduates to do the extra learning before they come and work for me,' said Butcher.

Trent head of civil engineering Professor Roger Hawkins, who sits on the 'matching sections' working party set up by the ICE, claimed that a university run matching section taken immediately after graduation could be made viable if employers provided sponsorship. But Laing training manager John Lucas warned that his company saw no business case for sponsoring matching sections.

He added that Laing was restructuring to cater for the industry's greater demand for Incorporated and Technician engineers. 'I have seen more of a need for Incorporated engineers. They have developed and in some ways overtaken Chartered engineers. We now don't need a lot of Chartered engineers,' said Lucas.

damiana@construct.emap.co. uk

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