SMF Mike Astell has both engineering and business qualifications, the latter he gained through his MBA study thanks to a hefty bursary from Sainsbury Management Fellows which champions the idea of having engineers in board positions because they bring a multiplicity of skills to these roles.
Mikes’ MBA enabled him to transition into senior management posts where his is responsible for hiring a diversity of staff including engineers. Mike’s view on current recruitment is that “Engineering recruitment is at a turning point. A major shift is taking place within graduate recruitment as many more are seeing engineering as an exciting long term career choice.
“Our industry has long lamented the fact that large numbers of talented engineering graduates have not seen their careers in engineering roles and have been lured by City employers which offer big incentives and salaries to attract people with strategic, analytical and project management skills.
“The failure of so many financial institutions has led to the restructuring of the economy (eg headcount reductions, divestments) and engineering graduates are starting to look at things differently. They are exploring engineering roles more carefully and beginning to appreciate the potential for challenging careers with long term prospects for advancement.
“This shift in perspective has increased the pool of graduate talent from which to select the very best engineering graduates, creating a very competitive market – many graduates are having to do work placements or part time work to improve their competitiveness. Now we are recruiting some amazing graduates; not only in terms of their academic achievements, but their energy and enthusiasm to contribute to industry.
“And it’s not just engineering graduates. The upheaval in the job market has resulted in a large churn and highly experience engineers who may have stayed at one firm for a long time, becoming frustrated at not progressing, have joined the candidate market, creating even more opportunities for employers to access the best engineers. This diversion of talent into industry will most definitely help to rebuild the British economy.”