Category Archives: engineering

Are These The Jobs of The Future?

Some careers advisers have a distinct penchant for digging out obscure pieces of careers information and labour market trends.  However, I doubt if many will have perused the full 260 odd pages of the “Skill Shortage Sensible” report produced by the Migration Advisory Committee of the Home Office.  It does however contain a handy (if still considerable) list of the occupations the Committee recommend for retention in the shortage occupation list for the UK and Scotland.

In other words, it is a good guide to job areas in which UK citizens as well as immigrants to the country may themselves find opportunities in the future and may repay some further study.  Of course some of the
jobs are very high level occupations that would not be immediately within the grasp of the average graduate – but we would hope that least some of those who have sought careers advice at the University of Cumbria will harbour longer-term ambitions.

It might come as little surprise that many of the items on the list contain the word engineering at some point and some of the key disciplines that get several mentions are:

  • nuclear decommissioning and waste management (so good news here for the sons and daughters of West Cumbria)
  • electricity distribution and transmission
  • tunnelling and landfill
  • ‘all chemical engineers’
  • aerospace manufacture
  • oil and gas
The continuing need for oil and gas extraction also accounts for a further sub-family of anticipated shortage applications incuding geologists, hydrogeologists, geochemists, geophysicists and pipe welders as well as a wide number of engineering technical specialisms.
If you’ve spotted that you can’t study many of these areas at the University of Cumbria, there is better news coming.  The shortage recommendation list includes a number of occupations relating to 2D/3D computer animation for film, televison and video games, including artists, modellers and production specialists as well as dancers and musicians.  
Health occupations are also well represented, notably:
  • hospital doctors in haeomotology, emergency medicine, paediatrics, old age psychiatry, anaesthetics, intensive care, internal medicine and accident and emergency
  • diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers
  • operating theatre nurses
  • social workers in children’s and family services (interestingly in the light of current vacancy shortages locally)
  • nuclear medicine and radiotherapy phycisists
Lastly, secondary teachers of biology, chemistry and physics as well as chefs also receive a mention.

Currently the shortage occupation list is reviewed every two years – the so-called sunset clause.

Graduate Jobs Market On The Turn?

According to the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services website a recent survey of Heads of University Careers Services showed some optimistic results on graduate job prospects. The vast majority (90%) of careers bosses surveyed in the last quarter of 2012 felt that the graduate labour market was either becoming more buoyant or at least getting no worse.  80% felt that the position was better or about the same as in the same quarter of 2011.

Finance, construction and engineering were all quoted as areas that were recruiting graduates heavily. Notably some IT and engineering firms starting to have difficulty filling vacancies, and smaller businesses were finding it hard to compete with the salaries and prospects offered by larger companies.

While this all fits in with the overall reduction in unemployment reported in the papers, less good news is that opportunities for graduates in the public sector, on which many University of Cumbria students are largely dependent, have continued to decline, while full-time vacancies are being replaced by part-time jobs and internships.

Any improvement in the graduate labour market must of course be good news but the sad truth is that it probably doesn’t make a great deal of difference to many graduates from Cumbria, who are basically faced with the “Shall I stay or shall I go?” question.  Either they pursue attractive job adverts elsewhere, or put up with the more limited prospects available in their home area.

Forthcoming Careers Fairs in Manchester

This is our annual message to let you know the dates of autumn careers fairs for students and graduates, organised by the University of Manchester.

This year’s dates are as follows:

  • ETHNIC DIVERSITY FAIR 2012 (Whitworth Hall, Manchester) 10 October
  • ENGINEERING, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY FAIR 2012 (Manchester Central, G-MEX) 17 October
  • FINANCE, BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT FAIR 2012 (Manchester Central, G-MEX) 18 October
  • LAW FAIR 2012 (Manchester Central, G-MEX) 20 November
  • POSTGRADUATE STUDY FAIR 2012 (Manchester Central, G-MEX) 21 November

 The next Graduate Recruitment Fair will take place in June 2013.

For more information, visit

Swings and Roundabouts of Graduate Labour Market

The latest AGCAS* Survey of University Careers Services shows that the overall number of graduate vacancies is holding up well in spite of continuing economic difficulties.

Careers Services reported continuing shortages of well-qualified candidates for IT and engineering positions  and the last quarter showed a noticeable increase in the number of advertising, marketing, sales and purchasing vacancies. Services also mentioned an increase in opportunities for hospitality, retail, leisure and sports managers, graphic designers and many roles in small businesses where flexibility and multiple skills are needed.

Although the continuing decline in public sector vacancies is affecting areas like podiatry, dietetics, education, social work and youth work, and the number of legal traineeships is down, increased activity in other areas has compensated for these losses nationally.

Comment: The University of Cumbria is however heavily dependent on local public sector vacancies for many of its graduates and restricted opportunities in education and social work mean that applicants will often need to widen their initial career aspirations and geographical target area to compete successfully. On the positive side, increased graduate recruitment activity by small businesses can only be good news in a region that has so few large employers.

*Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services

Manchester Careers Fairs 2012

Manchester University have announced the details of their careers fairs for the coming year:

Wednesday 13 & Thursday 14 June 2012

Graduate Recruitment Fair for graduate jobs and courses commencing 2012 (different exhibitors each day) – see

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Engineering, Science & Technology Fair (graduate jobs and student placements)

Thursday 18 October 2012

Finance, Business & Management Fair (graduate jobs and student placements)

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Law Fair (law firms offering training contracts and placements, course providers offering training courses, professional bodies such as the Bar offering advice)

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Postgraduate Study Fair (universities and training organisations promoting their postgraduate study places for 2013 – NOT a jobs fair for postgraduates)

Full details will soon be available at