A new study out of the UK this week suggests the 2008-2012 financial crisis is likely to bring an important boon to the world of innovation, manufacturing and technology. Amen, we need it:
“SThree, which recruits professionals educated in the so-called STEM areas of science, technology, engineering and maths, said the financial services sector had contributed to a skills shortage at industrial businesses by tempting away graduates with well-remunerated employment packages. According to a survey of 402 businesses organised by the UK arm of General Electric, the US conglomerate, two-thirds of respondents are struggling to hire technicians and engineers. The UK boss of BAE Systems, Britain’s largest manufacturing employer, last month became the latest industry executive to warn of a skills shortage.
SThree’s chief executive, Russell Clements, said industrial companies had struggled to compete with the City. “The UK’s engineering skills shortfall is a function of the fact that people think it is an unattractive sector. There is a perception issue. If you said to a bright young graduate do you want to join a bank or an engineering company, the answer would have been a bank. In Germany the answer would have been the opposite.”
However, Clements said signs that the “lustre has come off” the banking industry will benefit companies in SThree’s recruitment sectors, which include engineering, energy, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, aerospace and automotive. Within that, IT is the main specialism. “The engineering sector … will be a beneficiary of the perception that all that goes on in banking is not what it seems to be,” said Clements, referring to the crackdown on bonuses and layoffs across the financial services sector in the UK.” See: Banking crisis could make engineering jobs more attractive.
Considering some of the big issues demanding global attention like sustainable energy, water, food, environment and health care, more bright minds working in these areas rather than non-productive financial “engineering” and “leverage” is bound to be a very good thing.