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BWBLOG: David Hollingsworth: Future Proofing Geotechnical Skills

02 July 2014

The NCE made an alarming read this week in its coverage of the growing skills shortage in the Geotechnics field.

With deep basement design work on the Isle of Dogs in London, complex highway structures in the northwest and a whole range of heavily loaded industrial buildings to construct on difficult and complex ground across the UK, the demand for geotechnical specialists in BWB Consulting has never been stronger and we are recruiting.


The ‘Race to Recruit’ article in the New Civil Engineer Magazine of 26th June reflects the challenges that BWB have faced in recruiting experienced geotechnical staff; and with the UK investment in infrastructure going from strength to strength and the availability of development sites on good ground conditions rapidly diminishing, the skills shortage is only going to get worse, but we have a plan!

BWB is responding to this demand by a variety of measures designed to boost the geotechnical skills in the business.

We recognise that successful recruitment and retention only comes through carefully matching the working culture and preferences of candidates with those of BWB.  Skills are of course important, but for our people to be truly happy and fulfilled in their work they also have to enjoy it. To this end we have established our own recruitment team, IRIS (internal recruitment internal solutions), focused on ensuring our recruitment specialists have a deep understanding of our business and its culture and are able to match candidates to roles that will really suit them.

BWB Consulting is rapidly becoming an employer of choice with a big focus on creating a great environment and career success for our people, a key target of our business plan, which can be seen in our day to day activity.  With ‘one to watch’ status already achieved, we are driving to hit our business plan goal of securing Sunday Times Best Employer status in the forthcoming year.

Building our geotechnical skills base organically by sponsoring our people on specialist Geotechnics MSc courses is helping, but equally important is our drive to fast track skills development by investing heavily in ‘on the job’ development for our people, building skills and experience through mentoring by some very experienced geotechnical engineers.  At BWB we see the fast tracking of skills and experience transfer from the ‘grey hairs’ in the business to the younger generation as the best insurance against future skills shortages.

Training and development of professional and business skills is provided through a BWB Academy, a year-long course of around 40 to 50 hours delivered by Directors of BWB and external trainers focusing on the professional, business and people skills needed to be a great consultant, manager and future business leader.

All things considered, rebuilding the skills base for geotechnical engineering in our industry is likely to be a big challenge, but at BWB Consulting we have strong foundations in place from which to build.

Onwards and upwards!

For further details on current vacancies, please click HERE