New faces18 July 2022
With the decline of manufacturing in the UK, it is getting harder to find candidates for engineer surveyor roles that qualified in the traditional way, by apprenticing in an industry, then gaining experience and gaining qualifications. I was lucky enough to be involved in the new Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed) engineer surveyor apprenticeship, which recently launched its second intake for applicants.
It was refreshing talking to people with such varied backgrounds. (Once employed, all new surveyors, even those that have been employed via the traditional route, undergo months-long training during which they gain authorisations to inspect equipment.)
Engineer surveyor candidates should have some life experience because, in addition to the technical competence, they must also interact with people, politely and professionally, from the receptionist to the maintenance manager to the maintenance fitter that assists with equipment strip-down. They must have the impartiality and integrity not to let anyone affect a decision to escalate a defect that they might find through their engineering judgement. Being influenced to change a decision is not common, but it does happen. Engineer surveyors need to be able to stand their ground and communicate accordingly.
The SAFed apprenticeship suits candidates with the right attitudes and behaviours, but without the relevant engineering experience; that they build up over the course of the qualification. For candidates with the right experience but who lack the right qualification there is also the RQF Level 4 Diploma in Engineer Surveying, launched by SAFed and EAL.
What I like about these types of apprenticeship schemes is that they reflect a commitment and investment from employers to develop their own people. That is a big step, to create new pathways to competency and giving people an opportunity to join a fantastic community, which they couldn’t before.
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