Bits and pieces

What careers news is lying around in the lab this week?

Under the sea

Get your application in to BP’s Ultimate Field Trip 2011 before December 17 and you could gain yourself a six-week paid internship in the organisation’s North Sea business.

You’ll have to find two other STEM undergrads, form a team, and answer this question: What innovative, scientific ideas can your team come up with to maintain the UK continental shelf as a global centre of marine technology and engineering excellence by extending the useful life of North Sea oil and gas infrastructure - and, potentially, the oil and gas fields - as their economically productive activity comes to an end?

By summer 2011 you could be joining the 450,000 people currently working in the North Sea energy sector.

Check out the the article on the BP website or their facebook page.


Government funding thumbs up

The IET has welcomed the coalition Government’s decision to increase funding for adult apprenticeships by 50 percent.

Paul Davies, Head of Policy at the IET, said: “The announcement of a 50 per cent increase in funding for adult apprenticeships should be welcomed if it leads towards fulfilling the needs of engineering employers.”

The IET has also given its approval to the Government’s continued support for higher education.

“Bridging the engineering skills gap depends upon a concerted effort within schools, colleges, universities and by employers to encourage more people to attain the necessary skills and qualifications,” said Mr Davies. “The UK’s future in the world’s economy will be more knowledge and skills-based. For the UK to remain competitive, we need home-grown engineers and we urge the government to do all it can, therefore, to make sure education in science and engineering takes a high priority in our schools, further education colleges and universities.”


Top undergrad?

Roll up, roll up for the second annual TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards, designed to recognise the most talented undergraduates in a range of academic disciplines, although we know the one that really counts is engineering.

So take a look at the Engineering award, sponsored by EON, and the Low Carbon award, sponsored by EDF Energy. Or how about the IT and Computer Science award, sponsored by BT?

E.ON is sponsoring the Engineering award to promote its search for engineering and science graduates, especially electrical engineers, who want to play a part in changing the future of the energy industry. The winner will receive a placement with E.ON, including a trip to Sweden to tour power plants.

The Low Carbon award is focuses on sustainability and the need for the energy industry to make the transition to low-carbon forms of generation. The winner will receive a placement with EDF Energy and tickets to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

BT is looking for “innovative, fresh thinking talent to help us keep people connected and stay ahead in the industry” – and you could win a placement in Suffolk, followed by a posting in Europe. Or failing that, simply win the attention of the judges: not a bad place to be.

To enter please please visit the TARGETjobs website for more details (by January 31 2011).


Train to gain

Seventeen young engineers have joined Thales UK’s new rail signalling apprentice scheme. Based in central London, the new recruits are taking part in a new, three-year scheme which was created to meet future needs and to grow the Thales’ technical skills base. The apprentices will divide their time between on-the-job training and classroom-based learning (completed within the first year at City of Westminster College), gaining a range of qualifications and experience.

Luke Karby, 16, from Hornchurch in Essex, is the youngest of the group. He said: “I am excited to be learning a new trade, and happy to be starting my career at such a young age. I am also pleased to be with a company like Thales.”

Victor Chavez, Deputy CEO, Thales UK, explained why the company values its apprentices: “Apprentices are a vital part of the company’s strategic planning for the future. We need young people who can, in a structured learning environment, develop within the company. Our apprentices continue to demonstrate that it is the way in which they train that enables them to challenge conventional wisdom, and add value to all aspects of our business, inside and outside our engineering functions. Our Chief Executive, Alex Dorrian, started as an apprentice, and is absolutely committed to apprenticeships for the future.”


Industry supports electronics programme

The UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF) has reported strong industry commitment to its university scholarship programme since it launched in January.  

Within the first four months nine electronics businesses had signed up to provide over 30 scholarships and work experience opportunities. The scheme is aimed at undergraduates studying for electronics degrees at leading UK universities.

UKESF was founded by a collaboration of public bodies, private companies and UK universities to address the threat of the rapidly diminishing skills base in the UK electronics sector. Its principal aims are to increase and sustain the supply of industry-ready graduate engineers and boost career take-up in the sector.  A new dedicated UKESF website has just gone live and undergraduates are now applying for the first UKESF scholarships.

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