Recruiting for business is both a responsibility and a privilege, especially at a time when budgets are stretched. So when I received a call from an employer keen to find a highly skilled CAD Designer I was delighted – especially because it was from someone I highly respect in his industry. At the same time I knew he would want the best candidate available for his new business, starting on a salary below the national ‘going rate’. It would be a challenge I would enjoy!
This post was a fantastic opportunity. As a start-up business, the company were offering an environment for a Designer to grow with the company, allowing the scope to innovate within excellent working conditions.
CAD Design, however, is a specialist skill in great demand, and here in the UK there is a serious shortage of CAD Technicians able to meet the challenges of 21st century engineering. The average salary for a CAD Designer is competitive; a skilled CAD Engineer can expect to earn £40K to £50K a year. Yet while opportunities in engineering are plentiful, skilled graduates are not. A recent survey by the Bosch Group revealed that only 5% of 18 -24 year olds would consider engineering as a career.
So finding someone was always going to be tough, especially for an innovative fledgling business working in renewable energy, and requiring someone with a variety of interchangeable skills. The person specifications included: a track record of using 2 and 3D CAD to produce mechanical and technical architectural drawings; an understanding of electrical wiring and mechanical engineering theory; a strong interest in IT including selecting the best CAD software for the company and overseeing its installation; the practical skills to roll up sleeves in the field and measure up the space where the equipment would be sited; the ability and willingness to use a hammer and spanners… all this plus creativity, self-motivation and bags of imagination!
Many phone calls and emails later, I had sourced five fantastic candidates for the job, and I am now delighted to report that one of them has proved to be the ideal candidate. The company are, in fact, so pleased with him that they offered him £7K more than the graduate salary he is currently earning.
So the moral of the story seems to be, that we need to invest in what are known as STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) for the future. Sadly, the government have recently decided to downgrade the schools based Engineering Diploma for 14 to 19 year-olds from its current value of five GCSEs to one. To keep up with the emerging economies skills base, much more will need to be done for the UK to compete.
In the meantime, I can highly recommend CAD design as a career path!
Visit http://www.engcareers.co.uk for more information about Engineering Careers.