Incentives the answer

Your comment piece (June 16) did a good job of banging the drum for those of us who ‘make stuff’ and might have the seeds of a route through the current recruitment crisis.


Your comment did a good job of banging the drum for those of us who ‘make stuff’ and might have the seeds of a route through the current recruitment crisis.

One of the main reasons schoolchildren and students shun engineering as a career is that the subjects needed for it are considered ‘boring’ and the job itself is seen as unglamorous and relatively poorly paid compared to, say, top earners in the City — but what isn’t?

I would guess that the perception is engineering is badly paid when set against accountancy, management consultancy and other professions.

A few years ago the government decided there were too few teachers so set about attracting more with slick advertising about ‘making a difference’ and incentives such as ‘golden hellos’ that allowed graduates to pay back a chunk of their student loans.

As a result teaching is apparently one of the most popular career choices for graduates. But how many of those wanted to be teachers ‘when they grew up’ — very few I would guess.

And do they earn more than most engineers? I doubt it. They were attracted by good incentives and the ‘making a difference’ approach, similar to the one your editorial postulates for engineering. Maybe there are some lessons for us there.

G Parker

Bournemouth