MP says there are too many hairdressers and not enough engineers

MP says there are too many hairdressers and not enough engineers

NO INCENTIVE: Darlington MP Jenny Chapman attacked the funding system for further education

PROUD REPUTATION: Tim Grant, principal of Darlington College

HAIR MASTERS: Students training at the Saks Academy in Darlington

First published in News

COLLEGES are churning out too many hairdressers and beauty therapists and not enough technicians, a North-East MP has warned.

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman said teenage girls were being tempted onto courses with lower long-term prospects – while local employers cried out for engineers.

The Labour MP attacked the funding system for further education and sixth form colleges, which offered no incentive to run science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) courses.

And she said the problem was particularly acute in Darlington, despite students in the town performing “exceptionally well” in GCSE exams.

Ms Chapman said: “We train more hairdressers per head of population in Darlington than just about anywhere else in Britain.

“There is no incentive in the system for colleges to offer more STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering and maths—and train more technicians.

“If we want them to do that, they will have to stop doing something else.

“Some of our colleges have invested heavily in training people in subjects such as hairdressing, beauty therapy, travel and tourism, but they are not leading people into the types of jobs that they hoped for.”

Ms Chapman, speaking during a Commons debate on vocational education, said the problem also flowed from a lack of good careers information and advice.

She called for “destinations data” – revealing how many students go on to work in different careers and their earnings – to be made available.

And she said: “I find it is easy to persuade 15-year-old girls to study hair and beauty, particularly when they are not getting any information, advice and guidance at school that is worth having.”

The MP said a recent study by Alan Milburn, the former Darlington MP and the Government’s ‘social mobility adviser’, found there were five hairdressers trained for every vacancy.

And she added: “Meanwhile, local companies are having to recruit engineers and technicians from far and wide, when we have Hitachi coming to Newton Aycliffe.”

Ms Chapman said one such firm was DeepOcean, a subsea trenching company which employs about 120 staff at its Coniscliffe Road headquarters and at Teesport.

Her criticisms won some backing from Saks, which runs hairdressing and beauty courses at its training academy in Darlington.

Tina Rook, its head of education, agreed school guidance advisors were too quick to look at maths and English marks and say ‘They’re not very good are they? Hairdressing or childcare for you’.

She added: “They get funnelled through to us in the belief that it’s a nice, easy option and in three months they’ve left because it’s not an easy option.”

However, Ms Rook dismissed the idea that there were too many hairdressers, saying: “There is a national shortage. In Saks alone there are 75 vacancies that I haven’t been able to fill for eight months.

“At the end of the day, you’ll never be out of work as a hairdresser - people always want their hair cutting.”

Darlington College Principal Tim Grant said: “We are very proud of our reputation for educating generations of hairdressers in this town, and we know they make a really important contribution to the local economy.

"Students studying hairdressing only make up less than three per cent of our student population of 2,500 with the others studying a range of course in subjects like science, engineering, construction, computing and business.

"As Jenny says, it is important we shine the spotlight on the curriculum in schools and colleges like ours to ensure young people in this town make the right choices and have the skills they need for their chosen career."

In reply to the debate, schools minister Elizabeth Truss said the Government was working hard to increase the number of apprenticeships in STEM subjects.

She told MPs: “Our Your Life campaign, which has been launched by industry and will go forward to students and young people this autumn, is all about encouraging more young people, particularly girls, to consider future careers in technology, engineering and business.”

Comments (36)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:09am Fri 11 Jul 14

oliviaden6 says...

The esteemed MP has crawled out from under a rock, there must be an election blowing in the wind? Surely there are more important issues that are there to tax here mind?
The esteemed MP has crawled out from under a rock, there must be an election blowing in the wind? Surely there are more important issues that are there to tax here mind? oliviaden6
  • Score: -9

8:20am Fri 11 Jul 14

DarloXman says...

Wow - Ms Chapman has an opinion - she has got so used to sitting on the fence I'm surprised she has remembered how to have one!

it's also a surprise she remembers Darlington!

I think you are right oliviaden6 - there must be an election coming up. Perhaps we should expect more and more 'local' soundbites from Ms Chapman and Mr Wilson - only next time can they be a little cleverer and criticise Con/Lib policies rather than those created by their beloved Labour party (over their 13 years in government 97-2010)!
Wow - Ms Chapman has an opinion - she has got so used to sitting on the fence I'm surprised she has remembered how to have one! it's also a surprise she remembers Darlington! I think you are right oliviaden6 - there must be an election coming up. Perhaps we should expect more and more 'local' soundbites from Ms Chapman and Mr Wilson - only next time can they be a little cleverer and criticise Con/Lib policies rather than those created by their beloved Labour party (over their 13 years in government 97-2010)! DarloXman
  • Score: 11

8:42am Fri 11 Jul 14

D. Hop says...

As an Engineer for 20 years, I know employees do struggle to find new recruits, but I also know there aren't scores of jobs out there. Given a second chance I'd think twice.
As an Engineer for 20 years, I know employees do struggle to find new recruits, but I also know there aren't scores of jobs out there. Given a second chance I'd think twice. D. Hop
  • Score: 20

8:48am Fri 11 Jul 14

MSG says...

If she is so interested why did she not ensure Darlington got the UTC engineering /technical school ?

She , along with Burns and Dixon cause so many problems for this town. They are all responsible for the decline of Darlo !
If she is so interested why did she not ensure Darlington got the UTC engineering /technical school ? She , along with Burns and Dixon cause so many problems for this town. They are all responsible for the decline of Darlo ! MSG
  • Score: 19

8:59am Fri 11 Jul 14

RealLivin says...

Must be election due, as this has been spouted by business's for decades, engineering is hard and no offence to hairdressers of either sex but they would not make good engineers. The type of person for an engineering job would never be persuaded to opt for this type of profession instead. What is missing is the schools who offer such paths and this started decades ago when schools and colleges started to get paid for bums on seats and passes not attendees. For every 100 hairdressers 90%+ pass and the funding continues, for every 100 engineering students you will be lucky if 25% pass and I have seen some of those electrical engineers and they cant put plugs on so not only are some passes being fudged but the cost of engineering course is much higher than other courses and if pass rates are less therefore funding is less guess what is going to be pushed. While I agree that we need better general funding for schools and colleagues but you wont get good engineers if you dont fund the specialist side of education. I also assume that this is a reference to technical and none technical education not specifically hairdressers and engineers, I chose and had to pay for my own technical training in IT as academic qualifications were not enough and because not only can I not cut hair but I dont want to stand up all day long listening to people complaining "when I said short I didnt mean that short".

I remember Carmel and its technical excellence, now its an academy and that has gone and its no better than any other run of the mill school.
Must be election due, as this has been spouted by business's for decades, engineering is hard and no offence to hairdressers of either sex but they would not make good engineers. The type of person for an engineering job would never be persuaded to opt for this type of profession instead. What is missing is the schools who offer such paths and this started decades ago when schools and colleges started to get paid for bums on seats and passes not attendees. For every 100 hairdressers 90%+ pass and the funding continues, for every 100 engineering students you will be lucky if 25% pass and I have seen some of those electrical engineers and they cant put plugs on so not only are some passes being fudged but the cost of engineering course is much higher than other courses and if pass rates are less therefore funding is less guess what is going to be pushed. While I agree that we need better general funding for schools and colleagues but you wont get good engineers if you dont fund the specialist side of education. I also assume that this is a reference to technical and none technical education not specifically hairdressers and engineers, I chose and had to pay for my own technical training in IT as academic qualifications were not enough and because not only can I not cut hair but I dont want to stand up all day long listening to people complaining "when I said short I didnt mean that short". I remember Carmel and its technical excellence, now its an academy and that has gone and its no better than any other run of the mill school. RealLivin
  • Score: 19

9:56am Fri 11 Jul 14

teddymiller says...

Not withstanding other less related matters raised...her comments are spot on...as a retired mining/civils and building engineer, it was increasingly sad that I could always get a perm and makeover but struggled to find fellow engineers!
Not withstanding other less related matters raised...her comments are spot on...as a retired mining/civils and building engineer, it was increasingly sad that I could always get a perm and makeover but struggled to find fellow engineers! teddymiller
  • Score: 13

10:08am Fri 11 Jul 14

Jaga says...

If so many manufacturing jobs in the N.E. had not been lost during the last Labour Government, there would have been more engineering jobs. Every single Labour maladministration has left the country worse off when they were booted out.
If so many manufacturing jobs in the N.E. had not been lost during the last Labour Government, there would have been more engineering jobs. Every single Labour maladministration has left the country worse off when they were booted out. Jaga
  • Score: 13

10:09am Fri 11 Jul 14

Push it along says...

To Many , MP would be right& councillors , if that's the best statement lady chap can come out with , well it's a short back and sides from now on
To Many , MP would be right& councillors , if that's the best statement lady chap can come out with , well it's a short back and sides from now on Push it along
  • Score: 5

10:16am Fri 11 Jul 14

dham says...

Erm.... just where are the jobs for these Engineers? The local colleges have many classes of engineers but they are mostly just doing NVQ L2/3 qualifications with no prospect of on the job training or experience with an employer. There are precious few apprenticeships.
Speak to the teenagers at any of the North East colleges, they all have the same story. They left school with the promise of training and employment only to find that the college can't place them with an employer.
Perhaps this MP should spend less time pontificating in the newspaper and actually speak to the young people, as opposed to getting a college organised tour and only speaking to selected college chosen young people which is what usually happens.
Erm.... just where are the jobs for these Engineers? The local colleges have many classes of engineers but they are mostly just doing NVQ L2/3 qualifications with no prospect of on the job training or experience with an employer. There are precious few apprenticeships. Speak to the teenagers at any of the North East colleges, they all have the same story. They left school with the promise of training and employment only to find that the college can't place them with an employer. Perhaps this MP should spend less time pontificating in the newspaper and actually speak to the young people, as opposed to getting a college organised tour and only speaking to selected college chosen young people which is what usually happens. dham
  • Score: 21

10:17am Fri 11 Jul 14

SirLance says...

Some of the best engineers came from Darlington! Whessoe, Cleveland Bridge come to mind. The companies had yearly inductions of apprentices and these guys were trained in the basics through to Diploma standards. I have met Darlington and Middlesborough trained engineers in places all over the world! When the big companies closed in the north east, the talent moved to work overseas! Many still live in the area and return with good pay packets! STEM is the way to go! Hairdressing is difficult when trying to earn a good living! A few can make some 'ready cash' but there's always someone who knows someone who can 'do you hair' at a fraction of what a saloon charges! Engineers with experience are in short supply at present, i have known several guys coaxed out of retirement because they have no one else with the experience! 1,000 pounds per day is not unusual in the middle east these days! The oil patch pays well! Not the same as hair oil!
Some of the best engineers came from Darlington! Whessoe, Cleveland Bridge come to mind. The companies had yearly inductions of apprentices and these guys were trained in the basics through to Diploma standards. I have met Darlington and Middlesborough trained engineers in places all over the world! When the big companies closed in the north east, the talent moved to work overseas! Many still live in the area and return with good pay packets! STEM is the way to go! Hairdressing is difficult when trying to earn a good living! A few can make some 'ready cash' but there's always someone who knows someone who can 'do you hair' at a fraction of what a saloon charges! Engineers with experience are in short supply at present, i have known several guys coaxed out of retirement because they have no one else with the experience! 1,000 pounds per day is not unusual in the middle east these days! The oil patch pays well! Not the same as hair oil! SirLance
  • Score: 16

10:30am Fri 11 Jul 14

LUSTARD says...

DarloXman wrote:
Wow - Ms Chapman has an opinion - she has got so used to sitting on the fence I'm surprised she has remembered how to have one!

it's also a surprise she remembers Darlington!

I think you are right oliviaden6 - there must be an election coming up. Perhaps we should expect more and more 'local' soundbites from Ms Chapman and Mr Wilson - only next time can they be a little cleverer and criticise Con/Lib policies rather than those created by their beloved Labour party (over their 13 years in government 97-2010)!
there are around 40 utc around england non within a hundred miles of darlington, at the moment, wasnt it cindi hughes labour but from america. that had us fobbed off for one just recently, she has to be the enemy within, micheal gove mp states that every child age 14 should have the option to study a craft or trade and utc will deliver this, aye not round here, but here, cambridge brixton greenwich tower hamlets dartford stafford westminster tottenham norwich liverpool oxfordshire reading sheffield swindon salford warrington walsall wigan london borehamwood salisbury newton abbot harlow chatham lincoln humber plymouth etc etc. scandaklous outrage
[quote][p][bold]DarloXman[/bold] wrote: Wow - Ms Chapman has an opinion - she has got so used to sitting on the fence I'm surprised she has remembered how to have one! it's also a surprise she remembers Darlington! I think you are right oliviaden6 - there must be an election coming up. Perhaps we should expect more and more 'local' soundbites from Ms Chapman and Mr Wilson - only next time can they be a little cleverer and criticise Con/Lib policies rather than those created by their beloved Labour party (over their 13 years in government 97-2010)![/p][/quote]there are around 40 utc around england non within a hundred miles of darlington, at the moment, wasnt it cindi hughes labour but from america. that had us fobbed off for one just recently, she has to be the enemy within, micheal gove mp states that every child age 14 should have the option to study a craft or trade and utc will deliver this, aye not round here, but here, cambridge brixton greenwich tower hamlets dartford stafford westminster tottenham norwich liverpool oxfordshire reading sheffield swindon salford warrington walsall wigan london borehamwood salisbury newton abbot harlow chatham lincoln humber plymouth etc etc. scandaklous outrage LUSTARD
  • Score: 8

12:35pm Fri 11 Jul 14

LUSTARD says...

MSG wrote:
If she is so interested why did she not ensure Darlington got the UTC engineering /technical school ?

She , along with Burns and Dixon cause so many problems for this town. They are all responsible for the decline of Darlo !
it was announced an hour ago its going to be at aycliffe nect to hitachi. of course the ech news dept didnt know this before printing this story, however darlington could have had it, even so thats still only one in this neck of the woods, theyre dotted all over southbound, outrageuos
[quote][p][bold]MSG[/bold] wrote: If she is so interested why did she not ensure Darlington got the UTC engineering /technical school ? She , along with Burns and Dixon cause so many problems for this town. They are all responsible for the decline of Darlo ![/p][/quote]it was announced an hour ago its going to be at aycliffe nect to hitachi. of course the ech news dept didnt know this before printing this story, however darlington could have had it, even so thats still only one in this neck of the woods, theyre dotted all over southbound, outrageuos LUSTARD
  • Score: 5

12:52pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Lionel1 says...

i think Ms Chapman needs to be realistic. The vast majority of the girls doing H&B at the college would have no interest in becoming an engineer or meet the required criteria to get on the course - no matter how many STEM/raising aspiration sessions they did at school many young people just follow what their mates are doing. There may be a surplus of trained students in H&B but some more imagination needs to be shown rather than trying to put round pegs in square holes - why not use labour market info to try and interest them in something that seems more achieveable/interest
ing/likely to get them employment? Ms Chapman will also find DfE publish the 'Deatination data' for school leavers every year.
i think Ms Chapman needs to be realistic. The vast majority of the girls doing H&B at the college would have no interest in becoming an engineer or meet the required criteria to get on the course - no matter how many STEM/raising aspiration sessions they did at school many young people just follow what their mates are doing. There may be a surplus of trained students in H&B but some more imagination needs to be shown rather than trying to put round pegs in square holes - why not use labour market info to try and interest them in something that seems more achieveable/interest ing/likely to get them employment? Ms Chapman will also find DfE publish the 'Deatination data' for school leavers every year. Lionel1
  • Score: 10

12:58pm Fri 11 Jul 14

D. Hop says...

Until more major manufacturing comes back to the north east, there will never be engineering jobs in abundance. The few that are left know fine well that there's even more risk of decrease due to the likes of China rapidly coming up to speed with our Engineering skills. Go into engineering if you are willing to travel the world, if you want to settle in the North East forget it!
Until more major manufacturing comes back to the north east, there will never be engineering jobs in abundance. The few that are left know fine well that there's even more risk of decrease due to the likes of China rapidly coming up to speed with our Engineering skills. Go into engineering if you are willing to travel the world, if you want to settle in the North East forget it! D. Hop
  • Score: 9

1:14pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Homshaw1 says...

This is a serious issue. It must be soul destroying to put your heart into something and find there are no jobs at the end of it. Keeps staff at colleges in jobs but achieves little else. Even if you do find work the rate is usually a little above minimum wage.

I have engineering clients and they earn really good salaries. I know people who study hair and beauty and can't find jobs.

However instead of talking about it do something to change things. Get engineers to visit schools and describe the projects they have worked on and the life style and opportunities that goes with it.
This is a serious issue. It must be soul destroying to put your heart into something and find there are no jobs at the end of it. Keeps staff at colleges in jobs but achieves little else. Even if you do find work the rate is usually a little above minimum wage. I have engineering clients and they earn really good salaries. I know people who study hair and beauty and can't find jobs. However instead of talking about it do something to change things. Get engineers to visit schools and describe the projects they have worked on and the life style and opportunities that goes with it. Homshaw1
  • Score: 4

1:30pm Fri 11 Jul 14

johnny_p says...

If this is the case why didm"t Jenny become an Engineer instead of a politician? Probably because she decided to take the easy option.

There must be an election coming up?
If this is the case why didm"t Jenny become an Engineer instead of a politician? Probably because she decided to take the easy option. There must be an election coming up? johnny_p
  • Score: 13

1:54pm Fri 11 Jul 14

RealLivin says...

LUSTARD wrote:
MSG wrote:
If she is so interested why did she not ensure Darlington got the UTC engineering /technical school ?

She , along with Burns and Dixon cause so many problems for this town. They are all responsible for the decline of Darlo !
it was announced an hour ago its going to be at aycliffe nect to hitachi. of course the ech news dept didnt know this before printing this story, however darlington could have had it, even so thats still only one in this neck of the woods, theyre dotted all over southbound, outrageuos
Thats great news, of course Bill/Ada & Jenny cant take credit as Aycliffe is Sedgefield not Dalro, but I bet that wont stop the trying.
[quote][p][bold]LUSTARD[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MSG[/bold] wrote: If she is so interested why did she not ensure Darlington got the UTC engineering /technical school ? She , along with Burns and Dixon cause so many problems for this town. They are all responsible for the decline of Darlo ![/p][/quote]it was announced an hour ago its going to be at aycliffe nect to hitachi. of course the ech news dept didnt know this before printing this story, however darlington could have had it, even so thats still only one in this neck of the woods, theyre dotted all over southbound, outrageuos[/p][/quote]Thats great news, of course Bill/Ada & Jenny cant take credit as Aycliffe is Sedgefield not Dalro, but I bet that wont stop the trying. RealLivin
  • Score: 15

3:50pm Fri 11 Jul 14

DarloXman says...

D. Hop wrote:
Until more major manufacturing comes back to the north east, there will never be engineering jobs in abundance. The few that are left know fine well that there's even more risk of decrease due to the likes of China rapidly coming up to speed with our Engineering skills. Go into engineering if you are willing to travel the world, if you want to settle in the North East forget it!
Spot on - as an ex Engineer myself I agree entirely with both your posts. I did Engineering after I heard all the clamour for "the country needs engineers" - yet despite all the supposed 'need' after graduating it took me 6 months to find a job - one which I had to move to London to get.

There can't be many Engineers in the North East who've been in industry for 20 or more years who has not had a redundancy or had to move/relocate in order to stay in work - it has not been an easy career!

Politicians just spout populist soundbites - without any understanding of real life. Some advice - never take any (career advice) from a Politician!

My kids have chosen their own career directions - none of them are Engineers (but none are hairdressers neither).
[quote][p][bold]D. Hop[/bold] wrote: Until more major manufacturing comes back to the north east, there will never be engineering jobs in abundance. The few that are left know fine well that there's even more risk of decrease due to the likes of China rapidly coming up to speed with our Engineering skills. Go into engineering if you are willing to travel the world, if you want to settle in the North East forget it![/p][/quote]Spot on - as an ex Engineer myself I agree entirely with both your posts. I did Engineering after I heard all the clamour for "the country needs engineers" - yet despite all the supposed 'need' after graduating it took me 6 months to find a job - one which I had to move to London to get. There can't be many Engineers in the North East who've been in industry for 20 or more years who has not had a redundancy or had to move/relocate in order to stay in work - it has not been an easy career! Politicians just spout populist soundbites - without any understanding of real life. Some advice - never take any (career advice) from a Politician! My kids have chosen their own career directions - none of them are Engineers (but none are hairdressers neither). DarloXman
  • Score: 10

5:34pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Jonn says...

dham wrote:
Erm.... just where are the jobs for these Engineers? The local colleges have many classes of engineers but they are mostly just doing NVQ L2/3 qualifications with no prospect of on the job training or experience with an employer. There are precious few apprenticeships.
Speak to the teenagers at any of the North East colleges, they all have the same story. They left school with the promise of training and employment only to find that the college can't place them with an employer.
Perhaps this MP should spend less time pontificating in the newspaper and actually speak to the young people, as opposed to getting a college organised tour and only speaking to selected college chosen young people which is what usually happens.
Agreed.
I know of 2 people in the last 3 years or so who went to college, 1 to train as a Plumber and 1, my brother to train as an Electrician. None could get a local tradesman to take them on for training, despite promises from D'ton college that this would be no problem.
Spent hundreds on course fees and books and couldn't complete the course through lack of on the job training. This is quite common apparently.
Politicians seem to know nothing of the real world.
Take note Ms Chapman.
[quote][p][bold]dham[/bold] wrote: Erm.... just where are the jobs for these Engineers? The local colleges have many classes of engineers but they are mostly just doing NVQ L2/3 qualifications with no prospect of on the job training or experience with an employer. There are precious few apprenticeships. Speak to the teenagers at any of the North East colleges, they all have the same story. They left school with the promise of training and employment only to find that the college can't place them with an employer. Perhaps this MP should spend less time pontificating in the newspaper and actually speak to the young people, as opposed to getting a college organised tour and only speaking to selected college chosen young people which is what usually happens.[/p][/quote]Agreed. I know of 2 people in the last 3 years or so who went to college, 1 to train as a Plumber and 1, my brother to train as an Electrician. None could get a local tradesman to take them on for training, despite promises from D'ton college that this would be no problem. Spent hundreds on course fees and books and couldn't complete the course through lack of on the job training. This is quite common apparently. Politicians seem to know nothing of the real world. Take note Ms Chapman. Jonn
  • Score: 10

8:22am Sat 12 Jul 14

thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth says...

'MP says there are too many hairdressers and not enough engineers'

Talk about stating the bleedin obvious. And she really get s paid for such powerful, informed insight. Unbelievable!
'MP says there are too many hairdressers and not enough engineers' Talk about stating the bleedin obvious. And she really get s paid for such powerful, informed insight. Unbelievable! thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth
  • Score: 5

10:13am Sat 12 Jul 14

LUSTARD says...

personally, even if their isnt a job as an engineer as such, to me this training opens the mind of youngsters who could be the next inventor, it also shows an employer the type of person ie studious, and can use his /her hands. can an engineer design and build a house, doddle
personally, even if their isnt a job as an engineer as such, to me this training opens the mind of youngsters who could be the next inventor, it also shows an employer the type of person ie studious, and can use his /her hands. can an engineer design and build a house, doddle LUSTARD
  • Score: 4

3:43pm Sat 12 Jul 14

Red rose lad says...

It's one thing saying there aren't enough engineers and another thing to get off your safe seat and doing something about it. I don't think that sciences are pushed enough in schools based on my experience. My youngest went to a school that Jenny knows quite well. He was quite a whiz at sciences yet when he came to choose his options, one of his science teachers told him to do combined science instead of separate subjects. It turned out they'd done the same with all the lad's peers. This recommendation based on the fact that they themself hadn't taken separate sciences. I couldn't believe my ears at the parents evening. That's all well and good but the lad doesn't want to be a mediocre uninspiring teacher (his other teachers were excellent by the way). He wants to be an engineer. His enjoyment of those subjects and his eventual grades proved that separate sciences was the path for him and he was right to ignore the recommendation and succeed despite them.
There needs to be a greater connection between colleges/universitie
s and industry. What's the point in training 10,000 people in one subject if there are only 50 jobs a year in that particular area of industry. Students should know their chances of getting a job with their chosen degree before they cough up their scandalous 9 grand a year university fees. Likewise with college qualifications and apprenticeships.
Let's have a few less soundbites ahead of the election and a bit more action in the years between.
It's one thing saying there aren't enough engineers and another thing to get off your safe seat and doing something about it. I don't think that sciences are pushed enough in schools based on my experience. My youngest went to a school that Jenny knows quite well. He was quite a whiz at sciences yet when he came to choose his options, one of his science teachers told him to do combined science instead of separate subjects. It turned out they'd done the same with all the lad's peers. This recommendation based on the fact that they themself hadn't taken separate sciences. I couldn't believe my ears at the parents evening. That's all well and good but the lad doesn't want to be a mediocre uninspiring teacher (his other teachers were excellent by the way). He wants to be an engineer. His enjoyment of those subjects and his eventual grades proved that separate sciences was the path for him and he was right to ignore the recommendation and succeed despite them. There needs to be a greater connection between colleges/universitie s and industry. What's the point in training 10,000 people in one subject if there are only 50 jobs a year in that particular area of industry. Students should know their chances of getting a job with their chosen degree before they cough up their scandalous 9 grand a year university fees. Likewise with college qualifications and apprenticeships. Let's have a few less soundbites ahead of the election and a bit more action in the years between. Red rose lad
  • Score: 4

4:28pm Sat 12 Jul 14

RealLivin says...

“There is no incentive in the system for colleges to offer more STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering and maths—and train more technicians.
The incentive was removed by a Tory government in the mid 90's or shall I say the incentive to run cheaper easier courses with higher pass rates was pushed but 3 labour governments have never reversed this. As the comment from saks shows, these courses are passing lots of individuals but obviously not of the calibre required hence saks still have vacancies they cant fill. Engineering is one of the hardest professions to qualify in let alone make it to the top and only a minority of British students want or are cable of achieving it and with good teachers in this field at a premium its not cost effective for schools or colleges to run these courses, due to the financial incentive not being there.
Its catch 22, unless the governments cover these costs until attendance, ability and pass rates climb high enough to put us back at the top of the engineering pile, thereby making the courses sort after and cost effective they will remain cost ineffective to run and will not be run.
“There is no incentive in the system for colleges to offer more STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering and maths—and train more technicians. The incentive was removed by a Tory government in the mid 90's or shall I say the incentive to run cheaper easier courses with higher pass rates was pushed but 3 labour governments have never reversed this. As the comment from saks shows, these courses are passing lots of individuals but obviously not of the calibre required hence saks still have vacancies they cant fill. Engineering is one of the hardest professions to qualify in let alone make it to the top and only a minority of British students want or are cable of achieving it and with good teachers in this field at a premium its not cost effective for schools or colleges to run these courses, due to the financial incentive not being there. Its catch 22, unless the governments cover these costs until attendance, ability and pass rates climb high enough to put us back at the top of the engineering pile, thereby making the courses sort after and cost effective they will remain cost ineffective to run and will not be run. RealLivin
  • Score: 0

5:51pm Sat 12 Jul 14

David Lacey says...

Plumbers and electricians are NOT engineers. To be a professional engineer you must be a member of the appropriate Institute having gained the right qualification - usually a degree. People who call themselves engineers when they are simply tradesmen do the engineering profession untold harm.
Plumbers and electricians are NOT engineers. To be a professional engineer you must be a member of the appropriate Institute having gained the right qualification - usually a degree. People who call themselves engineers when they are simply tradesmen do the engineering profession untold harm. David Lacey
  • Score: 4

1:02am Sun 13 Jul 14

asiot66 says...

David Lacey wrote:
Plumbers and electricians are NOT engineers. To be a professional engineer you must be a member of the appropriate Institute having gained the right qualification - usually a degree. People who call themselves engineers when they are simply tradesmen do the engineering profession untold harm.
Couldn't of put it better myself, the 'engineer' job title is too often over used, in my profession instrumentation and control to become an engineer you need to be time served practical and college ONC & HNC then on top need to have gained a degree, just because you have studied a years course in engineering and work in the profession does not make you an engineer
[quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: Plumbers and electricians are NOT engineers. To be a professional engineer you must be a member of the appropriate Institute having gained the right qualification - usually a degree. People who call themselves engineers when they are simply tradesmen do the engineering profession untold harm.[/p][/quote]Couldn't of put it better myself, the 'engineer' job title is too often over used, in my profession instrumentation and control to become an engineer you need to be time served practical and college ONC & HNC then on top need to have gained a degree, just because you have studied a years course in engineering and work in the profession does not make you an engineer asiot66
  • Score: 1

9:21am Sun 13 Jul 14

Jonn says...

David Lacey wrote:
Plumbers and electricians are NOT engineers. To be a professional engineer you must be a member of the appropriate Institute having gained the right qualification - usually a degree. People who call themselves engineers when they are simply tradesmen do the engineering profession untold harm.
I must remember next time I need a heating engineer to remind him he is 'simply a tradesman'.
[quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: Plumbers and electricians are NOT engineers. To be a professional engineer you must be a member of the appropriate Institute having gained the right qualification - usually a degree. People who call themselves engineers when they are simply tradesmen do the engineering profession untold harm.[/p][/quote]I must remember next time I need a heating engineer to remind him he is 'simply a tradesman'. Jonn
  • Score: -1

10:01am Sun 13 Jul 14

laboursfoe says...

Jonn wrote:
David Lacey wrote:
Plumbers and electricians are NOT engineers. To be a professional engineer you must be a member of the appropriate Institute having gained the right qualification - usually a degree. People who call themselves engineers when they are simply tradesmen do the engineering profession untold harm.
I must remember next time I need a heating engineer to remind him he is 'simply a tradesman'.
Best wait until he's finished the job before mentioning that mate ;-)
[quote][p][bold]Jonn[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: Plumbers and electricians are NOT engineers. To be a professional engineer you must be a member of the appropriate Institute having gained the right qualification - usually a degree. People who call themselves engineers when they are simply tradesmen do the engineering profession untold harm.[/p][/quote]I must remember next time I need a heating engineer to remind him he is 'simply a tradesman'.[/p][/quote]Best wait until he's finished the job before mentioning that mate ;-) laboursfoe
  • Score: 2

10:04am Sun 13 Jul 14

laboursfoe says...

laboursfoe wrote:
Jonn wrote:
David Lacey wrote:
Plumbers and electricians are NOT engineers. To be a professional engineer you must be a member of the appropriate Institute having gained the right qualification - usually a degree. People who call themselves engineers when they are simply tradesmen do the engineering profession untold harm.
I must remember next time I need a heating engineer to remind him he is 'simply a tradesman'.
Best wait until he's finished the job before mentioning that mate ;-)
In seriousness though, a Heating Engineer is highly skilled and has to certify that they have complied and are competent in a heavily regulated gas framework.
[quote][p][bold]laboursfoe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jonn[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: Plumbers and electricians are NOT engineers. To be a professional engineer you must be a member of the appropriate Institute having gained the right qualification - usually a degree. People who call themselves engineers when they are simply tradesmen do the engineering profession untold harm.[/p][/quote]I must remember next time I need a heating engineer to remind him he is 'simply a tradesman'.[/p][/quote]Best wait until he's finished the job before mentioning that mate ;-)[/p][/quote]In seriousness though, a Heating Engineer is highly skilled and has to certify that they have complied and are competent in a heavily regulated gas framework. laboursfoe
  • Score: 1

4:44pm Sun 13 Jul 14

David Lacey says...

You are of course right to point out that a heating professional is highly skilled and has to gain a gas safe certificate. But that doesn't make him an engineer.
You are of course right to point out that a heating professional is highly skilled and has to gain a gas safe certificate. But that doesn't make him an engineer. David Lacey
  • Score: 5

4:56am Mon 14 Jul 14

SirLance says...

A Fitter 25 miles away from his 'hometown' suddenly becomes a consultant!

ONC , HND cuts the barriers! Experience and a good TRUTHFUL resume will see the results!
Nothing comes for nothing! There is no free life! I had 5 years as an Engineering apprentice at one of the best Darlington companies! Then I traveled! First job was the breakthrough! It wasn't a great payer but I WAS IN! I learned hard and fast and soon got on to the 'better salaries'. After a time i was even 'head hunted' for projects! That meant basically going to work on your terms! There are still many Darlington lads who served apprenticeships in the 70's travelling as senior engineers, it's the experience that you have to earn, you cannot be taught experience, that has to be gained! Experience is not making the same mistake twice!!
A Fitter 25 miles away from his 'hometown' suddenly becomes a consultant! ONC , HND cuts the barriers! Experience and a good TRUTHFUL resume will see the results! Nothing comes for nothing! There is no free life! I had 5 years as an Engineering apprentice at one of the best Darlington companies! Then I traveled! First job was the breakthrough! It wasn't a great payer but I WAS IN! I learned hard and fast and soon got on to the 'better salaries'. After a time i was even 'head hunted' for projects! That meant basically going to work on your terms! There are still many Darlington lads who served apprenticeships in the 70's travelling as senior engineers, it's the experience that you have to earn, you cannot be taught experience, that has to be gained! Experience is not making the same mistake twice!! SirLance
  • Score: 0

8:12am Tue 15 Jul 14

Yemen says...

David Lacey wrote:
Plumbers and electricians are NOT engineers. To be a professional engineer you must be a member of the appropriate Institute having gained the right qualification - usually a degree. People who call themselves engineers when they are simply tradesmen do the engineering profession untold harm.
Agreed David. A tradesman is not an engineer. However the reverse is also true, both are extremely useful and productive careers and careers that the north east is extremely short of due to an ageing workforce and a youth that was sold on useless degrees in the arts, media studies or hairdressing and the like.

Accreditation however, while desirable, is not essential.

This is speaking from my own experience within the engineering industry.

I do wholeheartedly agree that the over use of 'engineer' belittles the skill and experience that it takes to become one.

Engineer is a title that is earned not a marketing buzzword.
[quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: Plumbers and electricians are NOT engineers. To be a professional engineer you must be a member of the appropriate Institute having gained the right qualification - usually a degree. People who call themselves engineers when they are simply tradesmen do the engineering profession untold harm.[/p][/quote]Agreed David. A tradesman is not an engineer. However the reverse is also true, both are extremely useful and productive careers and careers that the north east is extremely short of due to an ageing workforce and a youth that was sold on useless degrees in the arts, media studies or hairdressing and the like. Accreditation however, while desirable, is not essential. This is speaking from my own experience within the engineering industry. I do wholeheartedly agree that the over use of 'engineer' belittles the skill and experience that it takes to become one. Engineer is a title that is earned not a marketing buzzword. Yemen
  • Score: 3

2:43pm Wed 16 Jul 14

railwaygrafter says...

We need new Government Training schemes for engineering apprenticeships. Help get some of the young people off the dole in the North East and into proper trained Jobs. Talking about Jobs and employment, I see the unemployment in Britain has gone down yet again.
We need new Government Training schemes for engineering apprenticeships. Help get some of the young people off the dole in the North East and into proper trained Jobs. Talking about Jobs and employment, I see the unemployment in Britain has gone down yet again. railwaygrafter
  • Score: 1

11:01pm Wed 16 Jul 14

spragger says...

Put this woman on the Beebs Daily Politics, she has met the required standard of stupidity to join her Labour predecessors
Put this woman on the Beebs Daily Politics, she has met the required standard of stupidity to join her Labour predecessors spragger
  • Score: 2

10:33am Thu 17 Jul 14

RealLivin says...

railwaygrafter wrote:
We need new Government Training schemes for engineering apprenticeships. Help get some of the young people off the dole in the North East and into proper trained Jobs. Talking about Jobs and employment, I see the unemployment in Britain has gone down yet again.
Can I just rephrase you, We need Government FUNDED Training schemes for engineering, but run by engineering companies this way you will get the right skills at the right level. I found out at least in IT that government training schemes tend to qualify at lower levels and with less relevant skills and are more academic that real working experience. If you are looking to work with Microsoft your employer will be looking for Microsoft certification not NVQ 2/3, I am sure engineering has its own relevant qualifications which will be far more relevant to the work you are/will be doing.

I have also heard that if you are on the new "how to look for work " course at the job center you are not classed as unemployed as you are in education, of course unemployment going down, but just not at the level we are being told.
[quote][p][bold]railwaygrafter[/bold] wrote: We need new Government Training schemes for engineering apprenticeships. Help get some of the young people off the dole in the North East and into proper trained Jobs. Talking about Jobs and employment, I see the unemployment in Britain has gone down yet again.[/p][/quote]Can I just rephrase you, We need Government FUNDED Training schemes for engineering, but run by engineering companies this way you will get the right skills at the right level. I found out at least in IT that government training schemes tend to qualify at lower levels and with less relevant skills and are more academic that real working experience. If you are looking to work with Microsoft your employer will be looking for Microsoft certification not NVQ 2/3, I am sure engineering has its own relevant qualifications which will be far more relevant to the work you are/will be doing. I have also heard that if you are on the new "how to look for work " course at the job center you are not classed as unemployed as you are in education, of course unemployment going down, but just not at the level we are being told. RealLivin
  • Score: 1

10:42am Thu 17 Jul 14

David Lacey says...

Some tremendous, sensible and positive comments above by folks with experience in various disciplines. Yemen has nailed it for me. We need artisans, engineers, teachers, scientists etc etc and our educational establishments should be churning them out in droves. The economy needs them - not Polish plumbers and Indian doctors, however good they may be ( and they are!).
Some tremendous, sensible and positive comments above by folks with experience in various disciplines. Yemen has nailed it for me. We need artisans, engineers, teachers, scientists etc etc and our educational establishments should be churning them out in droves. The economy needs them - not Polish plumbers and Indian doctors, however good they may be ( and they are!). David Lacey
  • Score: 2

1:42pm Thu 17 Jul 14

railwaygrafter says...

Mind you on a very positive note I watched the progress of skilled Tunnallers, engineers, HVG drivers on the building of new ** Crossrail and you had to give these guys a score of 1O out of 1O (15 Billion Pound Cross Rail Railway project refers, on again next Wednesday BBC 2,) one of the largest underground engineering projects in the world. There team commitment and skills on this project could only be described as highly commendable. Some positive 'working' news at last, a change from political doom and gloom churned out headlines. Not some many years ago, some men were Ice Cream Salesman and Car salesmen one day then after a ten week crash course they were given a title, Qualified Plumbers etc, etc, , amazing having regard to the 'old 3 to 4 year apprenticeships' of years ago,.. most of which were highly skilled.
Mind you on a very positive note I watched the progress of skilled Tunnallers, engineers, HVG drivers on the building of new ** Crossrail and you had to give these guys a score of 1O out of 1O (15 Billion Pound Cross Rail Railway project refers, on again next Wednesday BBC 2,) one of the largest underground engineering projects in the world. There team commitment and skills on this project could only be described as highly commendable. Some positive 'working' news at last, a change from political doom and gloom churned out headlines. Not some many years ago, some men were Ice Cream Salesman and Car salesmen one day then after a ten week crash course they were given a title, Qualified Plumbers etc, etc, , amazing having regard to the 'old 3 to 4 year apprenticeships' of years ago,.. most of which were highly skilled. railwaygrafter
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree