I would like to respond to the article by Ruby Kitching (NCE last week). I am a lecturer at a college of further education and one of two chartered engineers teaching on the BTEC HND in civil engineering. My colleague and I have about five years left before we retire but there is no one in the department who will take our place when we eventually leave.
I am one of those structural design teachers Kitching refers to, and have been for about 25 years, but I also teach hydraulics, health and safety, CAD, maths and the two project units.
There have not been any new academics in our department for over 15 years and I would guess that this is the same situation across the country.
Not only will we be short of design teachers in five years: the entire country will be short of teachers/lecturers in the whole field of civil engineering. When my colleague and I retire, the college will probably scrap the course rather than recruit new staff.
If the profession does not do anything about this problem soon, there will be no civil engineering HNC/D courses in the UK. Where will our technicians/engineers be educated then?
John Claydon, City College Norwich, jfc.civilengineer@btinternet. com