The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant effects on society, with unfortunately disproportionate impacts on particular groups within that.
One of those that our industry should be particularly mindful of is young people, our future talent source for a sector with an age imbalanced workforce. All of us will be aware of the unfortunate trap that engineering graduates can fall into, where an academic qualification is not backed by industrial experience, and if that young person fails to get an engineering role within a reasonable time, they drift away from the sector and can be lost forever. The answer is placements to give experience, and lockdown and downturns mean that there has never been a more urgent time to get organised and make space to ensure the investment already made is supplemented then retained.
Last year CENSIS, ScotlandIS, and Scottish Engineering teamed up to create internship opportunities for engineering students which would be fully visible to all via the e-Placement Scotland platform. Since then, the course of the pandemic has brought further lockdowns, and delay to recovery, making the need for these learning and experience opportunities greater than ever.
If your company can make space to provide a placement for an undergraduate or graduate or has existing places still available, we would like to hear from you. e-Placement Scotland is a free to the employer, paid student placement programme and by getting in touch with us we will help get your opportunity listed, and then make sure Scotland’s wider industry network ensures it is visible to the young people whose careers may need it.