A common complaint of graduates is that their company does not have sufficient variety of work to assemble the experience they need for the ICEs Chartered Professional Review.
Luck rather than careful planning has been the guiding principle of many engineers early careers and many find that far too much time slips past before they are ready to take the CPR hurdle.
An initiative to deal with this widespread difficulty was launched last year on a pilot basis by the Graduates & Students National Committee which began a national secondment database.
The idea is that graduates log their training needs centrally with ICE so that companies with suitable work can identify them and offer a secondment.
It is seen as being especially useful for graduates who work for small firms and are not under an ICE training agreement with their company. But it but is not intended exclusively for them. Graduates working under agreement who are becoming frustrated that they are not getting the experience they need may find it has a purpose for them as well.
The pilot included barely two dozen engineers and has therefore been a little disappointing.
Now GSNC wants to expand the number of graduates on the database which will enable it to be a far more powerful tool both for employers and for those looking for experience.
It has written to 200 graduates to encourage them to join the register and generate a lively market by the end of the initial 12 month trial which runs into April.
Graduates listed on the database will, at regular intervals, receive details of every secondment available, matching their needs within the geographic area that they have specified. Actual negotiations with employers must be done by the graduates themselves.
To get on the database graduates should contact Joanna Holland at ICE tel: (0171) 665 2159.
A single A4 sheet has to be filled in listing basic personal details, employer, contact telecoms numbers, details of secondment sought and available through the job swap. It must be approved by the graduates manager.