Leading recruiter, Hays Civil & Structural has reported that professionals with previous railways, highways bridges, transport planning and drainage experience are highly sought after in the current market.
Due to the upgrading of the railways infrastructure demand has been created for rail engineers to work on a variety of projects, including station design, resignalling, refurbishment and maintenance schemes.
“Rail, signal, civil and electrification engineers are all prized skills and roles for engineers exist at both intermediate and senior level. There are opportunities for qualified individuals, particularly within design, planning and pre-contract commercial management, to work on major projects such as Crossrail,” said Sean Fitzgerald, senior consultant at Hays Civil & Structural.
There has also been a steady requirement for infrastructure engineering experience, particularly those individuals with a strong design and maintenance background. Highways design, road and junction design and street lighting experience are all sought after skills. A good all round knowledge of different projects, Highways Agency and local authority experience is also a definite plus.
“Candidates need to be flexible and keep an open mind regarding rates, location, projects and employers,” noted Katherine Whipps, manager at Hays Civil & Structural.
The assessment, inspection and maintenance of bridge structures has also created opportunities for qualified structural bridge engineers and bridge inspectors to work on the UK’s canals and estuaries.
Whipps added: “Knowledge of bridge design software and the BS5400 code of practice are pre-requisites for these roles.”
Other resilient areas are transport planning and modelling, geotechnical, water and environment.
“Employers are looking for technical expertise in PDS, MX, Micro Drainage, traffic and transport modelling software, such as Arcady, Picady, Oscady and Saturn,” continues Ben Haigh, manager at Hays Civil & Structural. Demand for senior business development managers has also remained steady: “Organisations are looking for individuals with commercial skills who can generate business, which is so crucial during a downturn.”
The current market situation in which jobseekers are competing for fewer jobs means that more care must be afforded to the job application process. Careful preparation is needed for CVs and interviews for jobseekers to get noticed by employers and stand a better chance of securing a role. However, a recent survey by Hays found that almost half (43%) had not witnessed any improvement in the quality of applications.
Although recruitment activity for engineering jobs has slowed, employers are still keen to hire specialist skills and experience, particularly for rail, highways, bridges, drainage, environmental and transport engineers. While the majority of roles require previous public sector experience and strong technical skills, organisations are also looking for individuals with first-class communication and commercial skills.