Skills that could be your ticket around the world

Travel is one attraction of a career in engineering and one that an industry blighted by a shortage of talented recruits is keen to highlight.

Travel is one attraction of a career in engineering and one that an industry blighted by a shortage of talented recruits is keen to highlight.

"Travel opportunities are an attraction for young people," says John Bristow of Semta, the sector skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing, which is keen to boost numbers in an industry facing a looming skills shortage. "And engineering isn't just about building oil rigs and motorways. Engineers provide practical help to people and the environment all over the world."

In fact engineers are often on the front line of any humanitarian relief effort, putting their knowledge and skills to good use to provide practical assistance where it's most needed. The charity RedR, for example, founded in 1979 by civil engineer Peter Guthrie, is a database of registered engineers who can be called on at short notice to work for up to three months with front-line relief agencies.

RedR engineers are at the heart of the post-tsunami reconstruction effort in Asia, for example, providing emergency water and sanitation supplies and also tackling the longer term multi-billion dollar task of rebuilding these stricken countries. "There's a huge requirement for sanitation, water, housing and roads, and this stuff is the bread and butter of civil engineering," says Jon Prichard of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

And it's not just civil engineers who count in relief situations: electrical engineers can provide lighting systems for displaced persons in the desert while chemical engineers may be called in to help sort out environmental disasters.

The nature of engineering work in the UK is also opening up travel opportunities for young engineers. Many UK-based engineering firms are moving up the value chain into project management - and many of those big value projects are based overseas.

Amec, for example, which now bills itself as a project management and services company, has operations in 700 locations stretching from the Australian outback to the Arctic. Atkins is also in the brains end of the business with offices across the Middle East, US, Europe and Asia Pacific. "We have two main growth areas," says Alun Griffiths, group HR director at Atkins Global. "In the Middle East, where we have a significant presence in the Emirates and Gulf States, there is some quite innovative architecture and engineering underway. The other key area for us is China, where we have 600 staff in four key cities and which we see as a platform for further expansion there."

Engineers can find themselves clocking up the air miles as they travel from project to project. Anneeza Abdul-Ghani, for example, is a technical health, safety and environment consultant at Shell Global Solutions International, a career that has taken her all over the world, including the UK, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Germany. "I travel a lot and sometimes it's more than I would like because I have three children and a husband in the Netherlands," she says. "They're not always so happy about it but it is the nature of this job."

Will Myles, who works in the management consultancy arm of Atkins, has worked in Indonesia, Australia and the UK and his first job on graduation involved developing the infrastructure at Hong Kong International Airport.

If you're keen to add new stamps to your passport, then maybe a career in engineering could be the ticket for you.

Sport
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
boxing
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Executive / Digital Account Executive

£20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Digital Account Exec ...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living