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If not you, then who?

Skills shortages have been top of the agenda for geotechnics since the glimmer of recovery was first seen on the horizon.

This is not a new story – it is one that has been repeated a er previous recessions too, which is something that is highlighted the Talking Point written by the Built Environment Hub’s Mark Wakeford. He is calling for the industry to not repeat the mistakes of the past, and to work on attracting more students into civil engineering, whether it is through universities or apprenticeships.

The benefits of taking a wider view in terms of recruits can be seen in the roundtable event held last month, which brought together the finnalists from last year’s GE Next Generation Awards’ young geotechnical engineer categories. Their industry-entry experience covers both graduate and apprenticeship routes, and while their knowledge of geotechnics may have come at different points in their education, there was one fact that united the group: a career in geotechnics can be rewarding.

So how do we get this message out to school children – and their parents? Several people have asked me recently about whether GE should launch a careers programme but, given our readership, we would be preaching to the converted. My view is that it is up to each and every one of us to sell the civil engineering sector to young people. If more people decide to pursue a career in civil, the greater the number that are likely to discover geotechnics.

Bullivant’s John Patch has long called for every Institution of Civil Engineers member to make an annual commitment of just one hour a year to promoting careers in civil engineering.

This is something that I wholeheartedly agree with. So if not now, then when? And if not you, then who? What we would like to share is the ideas and initiatives you use to deliver this message, so that others can also effectively take up the challenge. 

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