Andy Sneyd

Andy Sneyd: “This industry offers great prospects for bright, computer literate people”

UK: School leavers should ignore careers advice and follow their ‘passions’ when choosing their degree subjects, says B&ES president Andy Sneyd.

Referring to recently reported comments by UCAS chief executive Mary Curnock Cook, Andy Sneyd said: I think the chief executive of UCAS – the university admissions body – has got it spot on when calling for young people to follow their ‘passions’ when choosing their degree subjects.”

On the B&ES website, he writes: “Mary Curnock Cook has, basically, told parents to butt out and stop pushing their kids towards so-called ‘traditional’ subjects that they think will guarantee their offspring’s future financial security and happiness.

She was speaking as latest UCAS figures show that over 17,500 law graduates are now pursuing about 4,000 training places with legal firms.

“If you take a degree subject just because your parents think it will help you get a job you are far more likely to drop out before completing it – because you will be miserable,” Andy Sneyd writes.

He then refers to reports that we will need more than one million new engineers by 2020 for the UK to maintain its place as a major economic power in the world. “Yet many parents dismiss engineering as unsuitable for their children because their views are decades out of date,” says Sneyd.

“They don’t see that in building engineering services, we are leading the adoption of digital techniques to revolutionise the way we deliver projects. Our companies offer great prospects for bright, computer literate people. We offer long-term career progression and the opportunity to work on truly fulfilling projects all over the world.”