The recent coronavirus crisis has really highlighted the difference in big companies in how they look after their staff. Jobs that seemed totally secure disappeared overnight, corporate giants like British Airways have been significantly diminished and management bonuses have somehow been retained at the cost of vulnerable workers. On the other side, however, some British engineering companies have done extraordinary work both in securing jobs and, of course, pulling together to transform their operations to support the NHS. We’ve looked into the big names in British engineering to see who scores well in supporting their staff and providing stable employment in the long term.
Apprenticeships, graduate schemes & training
To start your career in engineering with one of the top companies is a smart move. Not only will it be a familiar name to future employers but you will get the perks available at the large corporations that are seldom seen elsewhere. Apprenticeships and graduate schemes in the defence sector are rated very well with the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems having very highly regarded schemes. Outside of defence, the energy sector offers good opportunities with Sellafield Nuclear Power Station and EDF Energy (British-based, French-owned) being of a particularly high standard regarding apprenticeships. Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin and the BMW group (including Mini & Rolls Royce) offer excellent schemes and are a gold standard for anyone entering the automotive industry.
Staff support – pensions, perks and parental leave
The Sunday Time’s annual ‘Best Companies‘ to work for list includes disappointingly few British engineering companies. Making the top 25 ‘big’ list in 2020 was global construction services companies Arcadis and ISG, who have shown great leadership and support for staff across the world. Trust Ford, a nationwide Ford dealership, came in at number 20 with OpenReach and Power Networks UK also making it into the top 25. Use these companies as high benchmark to work towards. It’s important when you are job hunting to be aware of what the leading ‘good’ companies can offer so that you can negotiate.
Job security in British engineering
At time of writing we are still in COVID-19 lockdown and todays it has been reported that the UK economy is likely to drop by a third this year. It’s almost impossible to call who will be in business next year. Aviation has been hit very hard due not only to coronavirus but also environmental concerns increasing the cost of air travel and a decline in passengers. The automotive industry is also in a precarious position with the electric innovators probably going to survive and leave others behind. Fossil fuels are certainly not a sure thing as they were a decade ago. Although this may sound gloomy it may also result in the renaissance that British engineering companies need. We have some of the best researchers and designers working hard to revolutionise the world. If you’re about to start your career in engineering don’t look at the safe bets of the past. Find something that inspires you!