Closing the engineering skills gap
Nurturing engineering skills isn’t just a priority to meet industry and government upskilling targets. Increasingly, new entrants want to work for a firm that helps them grow. Here’s how the industry has changed and what an engineering career looks like at VVB.
What does a career in engineering look like?
The field of engineering has traditionally been fairly uniform in its workforce make-up and what the job consisted of day-to-day. But new engineers are now looking for more than just developing practical skills onsite. It’s a change accelerated by the government’s push to improve skills and modernise the industry’s practices.
The process of delivering engineering projects has historically been driven by civils, with teams working in isolation. Now, the mindset has shifted towards greater collaboration, with engineers working with different design and delivery specialists as an interconnected project team.
Another key change has been the increasing prominence of sustainability and social value across a broader spectrum of job roles. Whereas these might have once been a focus for specific stakeholders or parts of the process, engineers widely understand the importance of considering them throughout. As project value has shifted towards benefits for the end user, modern engineering teams are looking to make a difference to communities, and understand that means more than just ensuring the construction site isn’t disruptive.
What skills do new engineers need?
As well as a more aligned, unified working approach, more attention is being paid to the skills that benefit engineers and the final project outcomes. Engineers increasingly find themselves using data and digital processes to drive efficiencies and optimisations. These digital skills enable engineers to maximise the uses of methods such as 3D modelling and digital twins for more efficient delivery.
New engineers are looking to join companies that will support their ongoing growth and progression. They don’t want to be seen as a number, but have their wellbeing actively prioritised and be given opportunities to make a difference in their work. Problem-solving is a valuable skill to have, particularly for project managers, but also for engineers looking to continuously develop over the course of their career.
It’s crucial that engineering and construction firms partner with training organisations and encourage accreditations – both to upskill their current workforce and to attract new talent. Companies can also take advantage of financial incentives and co-investment funding available with the government to facilitate apprenticeships.
What does an engineering career at VVB look like?
We’re continuously recruiting new talent and offer a variety of routes into our engineering roles. We’ll train you up regardless of your background, running programmes for apprenticeships, graduates and work placements, with exposure across multiple departments and teams. These give new entrants a wide experience of the full project lifecycle and help them find their preferred role. At the end of the scheme, there’s the opportunity to step into a full-time role.
We’re invested in our people’s progression, and provide opportunities to gain senior experience and work with different teams. This is backed up by our partnerships with industry-leading training academies across the UK, training our workforce to the highest standards while gaining essential qualifications and competencies to perform their roles effectively.
We know culture is also critical to providing a motivated, positive career at VVB. From our CORE values around care and respect, to charity and community events, and our Safe, Sustainable and Wellbeing strategy, we treat our people as our most valuable asset, because they are. Across personal and professional development, an engineering career at VVB is one where you feel safe to work and supported to thrive.
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