Welcome to the new exec-appointments blog: intelligent executive careers comment

Written by: Steve Playford
Published on: 2 Apr 2015

Although we have been publishing ‘Careers News and Advice’ for some time, we want to give the thousands of people who visit exec-appointments each week a bit more.  More intelligent comment about the world of recruitment, more than just the usual ‘how to fill out your CV’ advice, more than just re-hashes of someone else’s original article.  And more chance to put your views across too.

So from today, we’re going to publish more original, thought-provoking articles each month, looking at aspects of recruitment from both candidates’ and recruiters’ perspectives. We’ll also run a series of challenging articles on leadership, career development, how best to use the media to find the jobs you want and will also look at current news stories that affect the labour market, especially at senior management/C-suite level.  There are lots of views on the impact of the executive world on everyday life and we will be covering this from every angle.

To start as we mean to go on, it’s worth looking at what the major political parties are doing for the job market in their manifestos.  Well it would be, but at the time of writing we don’t know all the details yet.  We've seen lots of promises of more jobs and will see even more no doubt, but what are they really going to do to improve the conditions that help create wealth and jobs? 

One of the biggest problems facing the UK (and other countries) is the lack of skilled engineers, and in particular the huge gender imbalance.  There are a lot of government statements and initiatives and we’ll surely hear more during the election campaign, but we have a long way to go before we have enough engineers for the jobs available, and crucially to provide the economy with the, increasingly digital, infrastructure it requires.  At the end of 2013, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills admitted that only 8% of engineering professionals in Britain are women. Not only that, but half of the UK’s state schools did not have a single girl studying Physics at A Level. Last year, New Civil Engineer revealed that only 10% of professional engineers and only 5% of all apprentice engineers are women. In total, women make up just over 12% of all people working in science, engineering and technology, and you can be sure that some of them are in admin roles rather than at the engineering/technological coalface. Even worse, the number of engineers is at its lowest in recent history. The official figures suggest that the UK alone needs 87,000 (if not more) new engineers per year over the next ten years.  Neglecting the potential of half the population is not an option.

Steve Playford, MD, FT Careers