Thursday, March 18, 2010

..simples, PAY more!

City poaching brightest engineering and science talent, BAE chairman warns

Britain's manufacturing skills gap could be improved if the City stopped poaching the brightest engineering and science graduates, according to BAE Systems' chairman. Recently people have looked more closely at what creates value and can be exported," he said. "The result is high-end engineering and manufacturing, which are a hugely good way of getting ourselves out of these recessionary problems. Already India is producing 650,000 engineering graduates a year compared to Britain's 20,000. He said Britain needs to produce at least 25,000 engineering graduates a year, to meet the estimated requirement for 970,000 engineers in Britain by 2017

Posted by cat and canary @ 03:39 PM (1787 views)
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33 thoughts on “..simples, PAY more!

  • cat and canary says:

    hmmm….choose an engineering career at BAE earning £50K or banking career earning £200K+

    no brainer.

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  • 50k? I wish.

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  • £50k a year when your 50 years old
    until then £18k to £22k
    i reckon by 2017 our biggest export will be skilled people (providing zanulabour aren’t forced to introduce exit visa’s)

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  • landofconfusion says:

    “Already India is producing 650,000 engineering graduates a year compared to Britain’s 20,000. He said Britain needs to produce at least 25,000 engineering graduates a year, to meet the estimated requirement for 970,000 engineers in Britain by 2017”

    Just before my brother left college a few years back, he was told that they (his college) were to become an “arts college”. Why? Because Labour subsidies meant that the college could earn more money that way.

    All the engineering, maths, science and generally any subjects which related to jobs which create wealth were being moved and condensed into the ‘other’ campus (situated next to a sewage works). All the former tech blocks were to be (and now are) converted into arts’ blocks.

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  • £25K + 0 to make real weapons 9-5 or £100K + x to make financial ones 7-7?

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  • cat and canary says:

    @2

    yes, £18-£22K is what they pay graduates. ~£50K when you hit senior engineer, which is typically in your early 30’s

    its a good wage, make no mistake. But nothing compared to finance.

    BAES – £22.4 billion revenue, 106,000 employees, 2009
    Barclays – £29.9 billion revenue, 145,000 employees, 2009

    Seems the link between wealth creaiton and salary is lost, completely

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  • Note: When I graduated I almost moved to the U.S. because pay there was almost twice what it is here for electronic engineers.

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  • jonny parker says:

    666 @ 4

    The unwritten rule of 7-7 has always put me off working in banks – and I have had the opportunity. 9-5 for this lazy ar*e.

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  • Easy, just poach the best from India instead 🙂

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  • Thenewdoctorwho says:

    Don’t get me started on this one! I’ve been trying to recruit students into Engineering Degrees for the last 4 years. I’ve already taken issue with the Beeb today over their article (below) about a 53 year old electrical and electronic engineer who can’t get a job. Ahhh, but he does have a fork lift license. Oh, by the way, does he have a degree in engineering then? Surely he must if he’s an engineer! Wait, no. Silly me! I don’t think he does. Anyone with a greased up spanner can be an engineer. Sorry, I forgot.

    Makes a mockery out of the 3-5 years our students spend getting tooled up so to speak.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8569213.stm

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  • tyrellcorporation says:

    Labour has always insisted on a bums-on-seats further education system. Arts have been promoted massively because its a dossy subject compared to engineering or such like. The reasons for this are:

    1/ It looks good that little Johnny is off to university (parental feel-good factor)
    2/ Millions of students all borrowing and spending like fury drags consumption from the future to create a boom today
    3/ Millions of students need somewhere to kip – BTL portfolios can be expanded knowing demand will be there.
    4/ Politicians can lean across the despatch box and say how well they’re doing educating the great unwashed.

    The reality is that thousands of students have dropped out as they’re not up to the standards required. They leave uni mired in debt, under educated and with very few prospects as they’re up against 100,000 students with similar qualifications.

    At least they’re hopefully had a few good pi55-ups!

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  • 666 @ 5

    Its a pity the financial one tend to go off in our face, seems the detonation feedback control is using positive feedback instead of negative = unstable control loop 😉

    I worked 7-7 as an EE when factories were feasible here, was fairly common, its the job satisfaction that I stayed for. In banking, Engineers know they are stealing.

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  • Just to make clear, most senior engineers, in their early 30’s, in the west country, earn considerably less than 50k.

    I know, I am one. you have to be a principal engineer in the company I work for to earn that much.

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  • If the brightest engineering and science talent really did go to the banks, maybe we should all sigh with relief every time we cross a bridge. At least we know that won’t collapse.

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  • cat & canary

    Its profit that pays wages not turnover.

    Having to build planes etc to gain their revenue I suspect BAE have a much higher overhead and hence smaller nett profit than Barclays who create their revenue mainly from clicking on a computer screen at appropriate moments.

    Just a thought.

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  • cat and canary says:

    hey str, yeah, youre right to a degree,

    I looked at their balance sheets for 2008 (BAES isnt out yet)

    barclays posted proft of 6.07bn,
    BAE posted profit of 1.71bn

    profits are of course higher when you dont make anything! But still dont know many top engineers who earn six/seven figures because they are indispensible!

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  • To me there is no clearer indicator that our current system is unfit for purpose. In my opinion, this is the inevitable consequence of a system that focuses on money as an end rather than a means.

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  • Skeptical_first_time_buyer says:

    Just a thought but what would Barclays profits be without the bank bailout?

    Also what would BAe’ be without bribing people?

    Also when considering net worth of an Engineering comapany, looking at one company does not tell the full story, there are also all the components suppliers that eat into BAe’s profit but nevertheless are providing jobs.

    What about the cost benefit to UK finances of not having to pay unemployment benefit to large numbers of people vs low employment high profit finance.

    Final point, there is no point in having lots of graduates in a field if there are now jobs for them. I’m in engineering and I’m looking to get out. Pay is bad, so is job security, and work is being off-shored to low cost countries, and there graduates are being on-shored to hear. I reckon salaries are actually falling at the moment.

    Also management seems to be getting worse, timescales for projects becoming increasingly unrealistic, products being sold at unprofitable margins, and the workforce being made to make up he short comings of the sales arrangements.

    I am not surprised at all by a sudden increase in product recalls by some major brands.

    We need to focus on how we create the jobs and industries before we train a load of new staff and hope.

    It’s not just the finance sector that have caught the excessive risk desease

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  • [email protected] “Its profit that pays wages not turnover”

    One of the truest and most clear headed statements ever posted on HPC.

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  • I omitted to say @14 that manufacturing does not have the luxury of being able to shaft it’s customers at every opportunity like the financial sector does.

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  • Whilst I agree with the sentiment that more engineers making useful products are better for the economy than a bunch of bankers, I think BAE is a poor choice of poster boy for ‘productive’ engineering.
    I’d rather our bright science and engineering graduates go into banking than weapon manufacture.

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  • mr g

    why thank you

    I must be ready for that ‘city’ interview now.

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  • C & C
    barclays posted proft of 6.07bn,
    BAE posted profit of 1.71bn

    BAE must curse those customers that insist they actually deliver a product.

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  • Actually profit is income less costs – and wages are part of the costs.

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  • [email protected] “Actually profit is income less costs – and wages are part of the costs”

    Correct, as I was taught at technical college in the dark ages there are 3 basic essentials in a manufacturing business:

    People (ie wages), Plant / Machinery and Materials.

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  • Yeah, this has been obvious for some time. Science graduates are underpaid compared to continental Europe and US; when I graduated in biomedical science from a Russell group university, the hourly rate translated to about the same as my part time college job as a bar shift leader. It wasn’t much better if I’d taken a PhD and a lot of my contemporaries felt their doctorate was a waste of time and money. One has a decent management job with one of the big pharma companies, the others have moved overseas.

    My brother says he will probably work in finance for a few years (to pay debts) and then do what he really wants to do (nuclear technology). The problem is, once you get a fat pay packet, its very hard to take a cut and so many maths, engineering, physics graduates have the same plan but never go back to science.

    If you’re a brilliant scientist you make your company shareholders profit then someone in a bank shuffles the money around and takes a fat slice. Most financial ‘services’ are not really services but parasitism.

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  • Mr G
    Alas, we must have gone to college in the same era, drawing cams on white paper, MRP and this new thing called JIT….. and it all seemed so important

    nowadays, the plant has been sold to India, the people either work in the public sector or sell Chinese imports, mobile phones or insurance

    I think gven my time again I’d skip that and go work in a bank!

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  • Engineerinbristol says:

    As a working engineer in BAE Systems i can tell you that £50K as a senior engineer “in your early thirties” is way off the mark. You would be doing very well if you make your salary equal to your age in this industry, £50K at 50 is therefore possible but probably above average….

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  • I rarely post but this subject is dear to my heart so here goes.

    I graduated in 2001 from Cambridge University (the proper one) with a 2.1 Masters Degree in Engineering (which takes 5 years to get – 1 year working pre uni then 4 years at uni). I choose as my specialism within the engineering degree Fluid Dynamics, Thermo Dynamics and Nuclear Engineering.

    The jobs I was offered at graduation was £23k a year working offshore for Shell in Scotland or £38k a year working in central London. Rolls Royce didn’t even bother to get back to me and I couldn’t even find a prospective employer in the nuclear sector.

    Which career path do you think I followed?
    Of my Cambridge Engineering year (about 400) if you exclude the overseas students, only about 15% went to work in what you’d call proper engineering. The rest mostly headed into finance related jobs of various flavours.

    The fundamental problem in the UK is the appalling starting pay in the engineering sector compared to the work put in. It’s not the ‘City’ as the bogeyman, the sector did it to themselves….

    As for myself I now work in the gambling sector where an ability in numerical modelling and pragmatism is highly prized and properly rewarded.

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  • cat and canary says:

    Chburke “The fundamental problem in the UK is the appalling starting pay in the engineering sector compared to the work put in. It’s not the ‘City’ as the bogeyman, the sector did it to themselves….” …agreed. partly due to lack of representation by the IEE, and partly due to engineers settling for lower pay packets, and partly due to an outdated industry mentality.

    engineerinbristol…. “As a working engineer in BAE Systems i can tell you that £50K as a senior engineer “in your early thirties” is way off the mark. You would be doing very well if you make your salary equal to your age in this industry, £50K at 50 is therefore possible but probably above average….”

    …sorry, you are way off the mark. check your local recruitment agent…
    http://www.ic-resources.co.uk/Jobs.aspx?category=Design,Applications,Systems,Test&from=section

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  • Also down to society valuing science and engineering less, politicians believing that bosses are the ones who do all the work. Hence salaries of aforesaid down 30 – 40% since the 60s.

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  • cat and canary says:

    Hey LTF,

    yeah, guess so. Certainly worked at places where they´re viewed as “engine room” labourers almost. And worked at places where middle managers think they are something wonderful! But also worked at places where engineers rule the roost. They also tend to be the most high tech.

    Having said that, the way to go is to start your own business, if you can get the funding. Im trying to start up at the moment. I have some possible backers, without sacrificing much/any equity. Who knows.

    Starting up in engineering is when that know-how suddenly starts to work for you.

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  • I read a comment and can’t find it again to quote but this is partly in response to it:

    One of the major problems with engineering in this country is that anyone can freely call themselves an engineer without requiring any specific degree. For example, a bin man is a waste disposal engineer, a janitor is a maintenance engineer. The name is not protected in the same way as, say, lawyer is protected. To be a lawyer, you must go to university and do the hard graft. In other countries (America being one that a friend highlighted) an engineer is considered a profession as worthy of worship as a doctor or a lawyer. From what I’ve experienced as an engineering student, it certainly required a much effort! if not more at points… but we won’t get into that…

    The major selling point of an engineering degree is quite simply this:

    An engineering student studies several topics and goes almost as in depth as those on the respective degrees (maths being one). It’s a lot of hard work but it pays off because when you leave University, you don’t just have to be an engineer, you have the diversity of skills to enter a wide range of professions – so many doors are open!

    As an engineering student looking to get a job in Civil Eng, I expect to earn £18k as soon as I leave and £30k by the time I’m 30. I also know that my employer will spend a small fortune investing in me as an engineer and they will not want to let me go any time soon! To get more people in, they need to make engineering more attractive – protect the title and make it a job people respect!

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