A professional workforce at every level


Courtesy of Energy Institute (EI)

Are your engineering technicians getting the right professional support? asks Sarah Beacock FEI, EI’s Skills and Capability Director and Kevin Dinnage CEng FIChemE, Project Manager, TRaM, KJC Consulting. Here, they outline how the EI’s EngTech registration programme can help.

In March 2012 the Technician Council reported that the UKwill need an estimated 450,000 new or replacement professional STEM (science, technology, engineering andmathematics) technician roles by 2020.1 Technicians make up over half the nation’s professional engineering population2 and are an essential component of the capability the profession provides to UK plc. All engineers will know full well that without the practical skills and technical competence of engineering technicians, new technologies would never get beyond the drawing board; buildings and plant would never be constructed to enduring high standards, and the safety and environmental integrity of any equipment in operation could never be assured.

Yet despite this, whilst the professionalism of over a third of those who have graduated in engineering is publicly recognised through the achievement of ‘Incorporated’ or ‘Chartered’ status, the equivalent professional recognition available to technicians – ‘EngTech’ – has been taken up by less than 1% of the potential population. As a consequence, the registered membership of the Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs) does notmirror the profession they represent. If itwere to do so, therewould be almost 300,000 rather than 14,500 EngTech registered members.

Although there have been recent improvements in the number of individuals becoming EngTech registered – with an average annual increase of about 15% – an 800% increase in new registrants, which is then maintained for eight years without loss, would be required simply to capture a nominal 10% of the current ‘market’ and result in 100,000 registrants.

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