People & Careers roundup

Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme is taking over as industry chair of the Construction Leadership Council from Sir David Higgins this week. 

Demand for engineers continues to rise but over half (53 per cent) of employers are struggling to recruit suitably skilled staff, says the 2015 Skills & Demand in Industry report. Published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the report revealed that 61 per cent of employers are least satisfied with skills among graduates – and that two thirds (66 per cent) are concerned that the education system will struggle to keep up with the skills required for technological change. The report also highlighted that while over half (53 per cent) of employers say they are recruiting engineering staff this year, 64% claim a shortage of engineers in the UK is a threat to their business.

A new study released by EDF Energy, to mark the launch of its #PrettyCurious campaign, has found that a third (32%) of girls in the UK aged 11 to 16 don’t think they are smart enough to become a scientist. That’s despite science being one of the subjects they enjoyed most (28%) and performed best in at school (38%) over the past academic year. Many girls are not taking their passion and aptitude for science-based subjects beyond school and don’t see its relevance to their careers, with boys the same age five times more likely to want to pursue a career in engineering (20% vs. 4%). The research, carried out by YouGov, was commissioned to mark the launch of EDF Energy’s #PrettyCurious programme, which will introduce teenage girls to role models they can identify with, who each have varied and rewarding careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Government has upped its pitch to grab maths and physics students as teachers with top graduates being offered up to £30,000 tax free to train to teach the subjects.

Leading infrastructure services company FM Conway has appointed former Miller chief executive Chris Webster as a non-executive director. Prior to his appointment at Miller in September 2010, Webster spent nearly twenty years at Amey; latterly as chief operating officer and a main board director. Webster’s new role will see him working with FM Conway’s board of directors and the business development team to continue to drive the company’s growth in key target markets. 

Employer demand is outpacing jobseeker interest in the construction and transport sectors, jobsite Indeed has revealed. While job growth in the construction industry has increased 10% in the last quarter, jobseeker interest in these positions has remained stable since the beginning of 2015.  Similarly, transport has seen a 13% increase in job availability compared to last quarter, while jobseeker interest in these roles has fallen 2% in August from its peak in March.

Dame Zaha Hadid has become the first sole female recipient of the RIBA Royal Gold Medal for architecture.


Professional services firm Deloitte has changed its selection process so recruiters do not know where candidates went to school or university in a bid to prevent "unconscious bias" and access more diverse talent. Its recruitment process from next year will take into account disadvantages of attending under performing schools when assessing A level grades, with three B grades being classed as exceptional when the average at a school is three D’s. The name of the university attended will also not be known by recruiters.