Earlier this year, Royal HaskoningDHV was ranked 18th of the global top 100 engineering firms by New Civil Engineer (NCE).
As a result, all NCE100 companies were invited to join the NCE100 Club and participate in a series of industry best practice sharing events throughout 2016/2017.
The events are themed around each of NCE’s five key pillars: Future Technology, The Future Engineer, Engineering Equality, Technical Excellence and World View.
Last week, two members of Royal HaskoningDHV staff in the UK attended the second NCE100 Club – ‘The Future Engineer’.
With speakers including representatives from Heathrow Airport, Costain, Amey and Mott MacDonald, the overarching takeaway from the event was an emphasis on providing solid apprenticeship and graduate schemes to inspire the next generation of engineers.
Patrick Hebbard, Director of the UK Transport Advisory Group, and Ben Hodgkin, Principal Engineer for Maritime & Aviation represented the company at the event and share some thoughts here.
One of the main things that Patrick was inspired by at the event was the potential of partnering with schools to enhance the image of our industry: “There’s no underestimating the potential of going out into our local communities to educate and inform about what we do as engineers. Demystifying our industry to the next generation of potential engineers will be invaluable.”
And this is an area in which Royal HaskoningDHV has already dabbled this year – our Manchester office in particular has worked with Enabling Enterprise, an organisation committed to preparing children for the real world.
But Patrick believes there is potential to expand this initiative across Royal HaskoningDHV: “We already have a strong graduate programme, but in order to ensure sustainability in our industry, we need to think outside the box and secure graduates from other disciplines – such as geography, maths or science. Working with local schools will be key in achieving this, and the onus is on us to really champion this sort of activity.”
It was also very apparent from the event that there is a huge skills gap which needs addressing in the industry. Ben commented: “One of the approaches the event covered was attendance at careers fairs. They provide a great opportunity to meet a very diverse group of young people – and they could help provide a greater understanding of what the drivers are of the next generation, to help us appeal to and recruit the best graduates.”
The series of NCE100 events offer an opportunity to network with other representatives from the top 100 companies of 2015/16, learn from those pushing the boundaries in engineering, and ultimately share best practice and celebrate the industry’s achievements together.
Patrick concludes: “Ultimately, this NCE100 event reinforced that we have a responsibility to help ensure that there is greater gender diversity in the workplace. If youngsters are interested in exploring how the world works – whether male or female, from an engineering discipline or not – we can help them learn, train them up and mould them into becoming the engineers of the future.”