We know that the ability to do hands-on, practical, work is a crucial part of any Engineer’s skillset and that this type expertise is highly regarded in industry. However, the latest IET survey on the skills gap found nearly half of employers in the technology sector reported a gap in skills in their workforce.
Of course, university students studying Electronic and Electrical Engineering, or a related degree, are introduced to practical work and lab equipment as part of their courses. However, with assignments and exams looming large, this can be a daunting and potentially stressful experience. Also, the design tasks carried out as formal parts of degree courses are often fixed and so there can be limited opportunity for personal creativity. Many universities have ‘maker spaces’ for use by their students. However, the University of Edinburgh have gone a step further and created an After Hours Club for Electronics students. The After Hours Club, which has been operating with growing success since 2013, provides a structured approach and offers support to engineering students to help them develop their skills. We think it is a great example of ‘good practice’ and you can find out more here.
Stew Edmondson, CEO UKESF