It's down to YOU

It’s down to YOUA common theme running through this week’s mail bag was that it is up to the individual to change the status of the engineer….forget the moaning and go out and do it: “People are as they are seen to be” The whiners don’t help… I agree wholeheartedly with the views expressed by Anthony New. Yes, rely on market forces to determine pay. Not on artificial and unworkable structures (IEE etc) that have no meaning to the economy. I am sick of the harping of some engineers over their lack of status and pay! Improve your skill base yourself, respond to market demands by offering skills that are required. MOST OF ALL STOP WHINING!! Take responsibility for your career and prospects don’t abdicate responsibility to others.We all operate within a market so think like the businesses who employ us. Simon D Porter BEng MSc …nor do the whingers Are we prepared to accept Doctors without a medical degrees? or Lawyers without law degrees? There is no debate – we would be horrified if unqualified Doctors or Lawyers were allowed to practice their art. If as engineers we desire the same social status as Doctors and Lawyers then we must be prepared to undergo the same high levels of education, training and professional experience – there is no alternative – there is no debate! There are without doubt many excellent engineers without degrees – but the first step to increased status (if that is what we really desire) is to demonstrate to others outside our profession that we are prepared to undergo the same tests of competence that others must endure. However, after having worked in the electronics industry for more than 20 years and heard the same old arguments over and over again, I suspect that most engineers will do nothing but sit back and continue to whinge! Will Haylock BSc(Hons), St.Ives, Cambridgeshire Unqualified conundrum I am qualified with the City and Guilds of London Institute and will soon receive their Graduateship award, which shows competence in an employment-based context to the standard which could be expected from a graduate with a several years subsequent experience. So what happens if the government decide to make registration of Engineers compulsory. Currently registration with the Engineering Council and the institutes is restricted to those with a Bachelor Degree/HND. What happens to non-degree Engineers, will we be forced out of our jobs? What steps are the institutes taking to register people like myself with vocational qualifications and experience?. I have not seen much information on this or their acceptance of the higher level NVQs as they become established. Paul Brennan Engineering needs yoof What is an engineer and why is it important? I suggest there are two reasons: a personal desire by an “Engineer” to proclaim to the world that he has certain accomplishments where his possession of letters after his name cannot be highlighted – in short, pride and one-upmanship; and a need in Britain to attract credibility and interest to an industry which since the 1950s has been eroded by apathy, malaise and a belief that wealth management (e.g. accountancy) substitutes for wealth creation. I do not care whether the world knows I am an engineer – only that the cream of our youth is attracted to an industry which is essential to the national cause. P.Naylor (B.Eng, Ph.D, C.Eng, FIMechE, by the way) The Chinese had a point Wouldn’t it be good if we had a different job title, different letters after our name, there were higher standards to join the IEE, and you had to be registered to be an engineer. We would all earn massive salaries and be respected throughout the land. I don’t think so! Are engineers undervalued? If they are it is their own fault. We don’t turn up to work in ‘greasy overalls’ with a ‘big spanner’. We turn up in a shirt and tie, interact with personnel throughout the company, attend meetings with top management and meet customers. The perfect forum to sell yourself. Or to undersell yourself. At the end of the day people are as they are seen to be. Perhaps we should remember the words of a chinese proverb I once heard: A bitter man is one who has lost in life. D.Ballard CEng Engineers in perspective Many of your letters published on the subject of improving the status of engineers seem to think that by making it an exclusive ‘club’, their pay will automatically increase to the levels enjoyed by doctors, architects, etc. How? Where is all this money going to come from? Where is it at the moment? Engineers are not seen as being equal to doctors, architects, lawyers, etc. because they are not equal. If a doctor does a bad job, someone could die, if an architect makes a mistake, a building could collapse, if a lawyer makes a mistake, an innocent person could be jailed. If an engineer makes a mistake, your mobile phone might not work properly or a PCB may need a few wire links on it. Hardly in the same order of magnitude! The mark of a good engineer is how well they perform in the job and what they add to the company, not what qualifications they have or what societies they belong to. You do not get an ‘Engineer Inside’ sticker with every engineering degree. Steve Smith IF YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH ANY OF THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED HERE WHY NOT DROP THE EDITOR A LINE ON

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