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Getting a job as a mechanical engineer?

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Old 10 April 2018, 03:40 PM
  #1  
alcazar
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Default Getting a job as a mechanical engineer?

For my eldest.
He did ten years as a plater/welder, having GNVQ level 3 and City and Guilds level 3 fab/weld.

He then put himself through uni at Hull coming out with a decent degree in Mechanical Engineering last June.

But despite applying for literally hundreds of jobs since then, he's had one start, working for an agency contracted to EDF...who promptly cancelled the contract six weeks in. He's not getting interviews as it seems everyone wants experience. The local works will only appoint from their own programmes or from within...many of the engineers on there have no engineering qualification.

His applications cover the whole of the UK and abroad...but nothing.

Anyone know of any jobs or can offer advice as to how to get a start?
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Old 10 April 2018, 05:43 PM
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How old is he? ĎCus it might be worth applying for company graduate schemes, sure the money wonít be as good but itís a foot in the door and the other experience heís got will stand him out above regular uni leavers.
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Old 11 April 2018, 09:44 AM
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He's thirty-one.

How does one go about finding/applying for such schemes?

Not sure how much of a goer it will be if the money is poor but he has to live down south, for example. SAt least in the north living costs are lower, he had a nice place in Hartlepool for £325pm, and within driving distance of us has a room and board rent free with us.

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Old 11 April 2018, 10:18 AM
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For a broadbrush solution it's just a case of typing something along the lines of "graduate mechanical engineer" into any of the various recruitment sites. Or indeed typing graduate scheme into Google and seeing what takes his fancy.

Either that or go direct to companies he's worked with (or in similar fields), i know EDF and SSE both have graduate development schemes. There's also the likes of Sellafield (who pay quite well last i checked) or STFC/UKAEA.
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Old 11 April 2018, 10:39 AM
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You really would imagined with that combination he would be bound to get something somewhere ! Surely not everyone is a software engineer

What about emerging renewable industry , windpower etc or space industry

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Old 11 April 2018, 11:52 AM
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Bit left field but the Navy are after engineers as is the RAF.
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Old 11 April 2018, 12:06 PM
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I do most of my recruiting for Mechanical Engineers and Electrical Engineers for my department as Engineering Manager (Mechanical engineering design background) through recruitment agencies. We do sometimes advertise locally, but find this offers little results so we tend to go through agencies instead and let them do the work.


The recruitment agency market is MASSIVELY over-saturated currently and I'm contacted by a different company probably twice a day, it's madness. Just find a good company who operate in the area he wishes to live in and start with that!


There are jobs out there to be had. I have to sift through the recruitment agency guff to find the gems amongst the piles of tosh that is presented to me every time I need to find someone, but if his CV is good, which to me it sounds like it is and his salary expectation is not unreasonable then he should be fine. It may just take a little time.


Good luck!
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Old 11 April 2018, 12:28 PM
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Has he not thought of working for himself for abit? I know someone who started work for JCB and have been working with them for years now, earning quite abit.
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Old 11 April 2018, 01:19 PM
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How do you mean jay?

Thanks to all respondees so far.
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Old 14 April 2018, 08:27 PM
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With those qualifications, he could easily get a job at a college as a tutor/lecturer. This on the face of it probably isnít ideal, but if the college has a strong engineering department with a lot of apprentice students, heíll quickly become networked with many companies locally. Alternatively heíll enjoy working with a college to pass on his skills.
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Old 14 April 2018, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BrownPantsRacing View Post
I do most of my recruiting for Mechanical Engineers and Electrical Engineers for my department as Engineering Manager (Mechanical engineering design background) through recruitment agencies. We do sometimes advertise locally, but find this offers little results so we tend to go through agencies instead and let them do the work.

The recruitment agency market is MASSIVELY over-saturated currently and I'm contacted by a different company probably twice a day, it's madness. Just find a good company who operate in the area he wishes to live in and start with that!


There are jobs out there to be had. I have to sift through the recruitment agency guff to find the gems amongst the piles of tosh that is presented to me every time I need to find someone, but if his CV is good, which to me it sounds like it is and his salary expectation is not unreasonable then he should be fine. It may just take a little time.


Good luck!
Top advice

This appeared to be the case back when I was looking. Most company HR departments used agencies, of which as a candidate I found myself being used as fodder for irrelevant roles. It's probably the most disheartening experience to be "sold" a job by an agency only to turn up at the employer to find that the job is nothing like what I was told and the employer was expecting someone with a completely different skill set. But I guess a job is better than no job?

The most bizarre one for me was turning up for a job that was supposed to be outfitting GPS and laser levelling systems with automated controls on agricultural equipment, Only for me to turn up and find out that all they wanted was a welder....and I had zero welding training or experience!


As mentioned the CV counts, it has to be quick to read and give some that would offer the employer something over the next zero-experience graduate, and make sure the agency doesn't doctor it either (Pertemps altered mine, hence the welding debacle). The other thing with agencies is if you start being picky with any roles they offer they tend to put you at the bottom of list, regardless of how suitable you could be.

Also who you know can go some way, so making friends or reaching out to contacts that provide references and persuade attention in the right direction could help in getting an application further up the pile.

Last edited by ALi-B; 14 April 2018 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 15 April 2018, 12:54 PM
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Not sure this would be the right sort of role but I'm currently in the process of writing a job description for a Mechanical Services Officer for a University Campus, Warwickshire location.
Happy to provide more info if you think it might be of any interest.
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Old 15 April 2018, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Rab555 View Post
With those qualifications, he could easily get a job at a college as a tutor/lecturer. This on the face of it probably isn’t ideal, but if the college has a strong engineering department with a lot of apprentice students, he’ll quickly become networked with many companies locally. Alternatively he’ll enjoy working with a college to pass on his skills.
He would have to do PTTLS first, but it’s only 10 weeks and a pretty cheap course, but I agree with what you say!

OP, what’s his CV like? It’s all very having qualifications coming out your ears, but if his CV sucks, he won’t get past the papersift stage.

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Old 15 April 2018, 04:34 PM
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Done ourselves following instructions on t'internet.

I'm no expert, but others have looked, including agencies, and said it's OK.
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Old 15 April 2018, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Peedee View Post
He would have to do PTTLS first, but itís only 10 weeks and a pretty cheap course, but I agree with what you say!

OP, whatís his CV like? Itís all very having qualifications coming out your ears, but if his CV sucks, he wonít get past the papersift stage.
My employer required me to start the course within 5 years, so not a worry if itís a temp thing
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Old 16 April 2018, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ALi-B View Post
Top advice

This appeared to be the case back when I was looking. Most company HR departments used agencies, of which as a candidate I found myself being used as fodder for irrelevant roles. It's probably the most disheartening experience to be "sold" a job by an agency only to turn up at the employer to find that the job is nothing like what I was told and the employer was expecting someone with a completely different skill set. But I guess a job is better than no job?

The most bizarre one for me was turning up for a job that was supposed to be outfitting GPS and laser levelling systems with automated controls on agricultural equipment, Only for me to turn up and find out that all they wanted was a welder....and I had zero welding training or experience!


As mentioned the CV counts, it has to be quick to read and give some that would offer the employer something over the next zero-experience graduate, and make sure the agency doesn't doctor it either (Pertemps altered mine, hence the welding debacle). The other thing with agencies is if you start being picky with any roles they offer they tend to put you at the bottom of list, regardless of how suitable you could be.

Also who you know can go some way, so making friends or reaching out to contacts that provide references and persuade attention in the right direction could help in getting an application further up the pile.


Not a bad call actually making friends and reaching out in the industry if you can.


I helped someone get a job with Alstom in Rugby recently. He had applied through THE approved Alstom job agency for the job listed that ticked all his skills, though he was absolutely ideal for the position but for some reason he didn't get through their agency screening and didn't get forwarded to the role. He was very disappointed. I have various contacts there from the last 20 years dealing with them on various projects so I chatted to him and gave him a few names of engineers to contact directly and a phone number. He bypassed the agency, their daft HR department and got an interview with the engineer who'd requested the position. Low and behold he got the job and is still there now.


Long story short, don't be afraid to do a bit of googling to find contacts and send them a covering letter with a CV. The people who need the staff will recognise a good CV and may be able to help your chances getting through the agencies. They will also appreciate & recognise initiative and drive from people who do this.
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Old 16 April 2018, 03:52 PM
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I'm in the same field and get to sift through loads of CVs, mostly for placement students but it's all the same.

I would say what you've had above is pretty good advice. A good clear CV showing you have an interest in the field outside of work plus all the key works that these companies use for filtering.

Make the most of agencies like Matchtech. Get on Linkedin, it's full of recruiters that are trying to find applicants to fill roles. You can set that you are actively looking for work and they usually find you.
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Old 16 April 2018, 06:21 PM
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Thanks for the above, plenty to get going with.
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