Author Topic: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?  (Read 898 times)

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Offline treez

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Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« on: January 25, 2020, 12:43:28 pm »
There is a massive shortage of electronics staff these days in UK. (this is due to the fact that engineering in UK is in “die off”, and so nobody is coming in to the trade.
https://massey276.wixsite.com/ukdecline

Is this the case in the rest of the world?……..i mean……I’m writing this to explain it and try and get an idea of the scale of the problem in other countries…?

Even electronics technicians who can do just the most  basic electrical test and soldering and box build are rare in UK……..
.....Lets now refer to such a trade as an “ELTEC”.

My friend is an ELTEC at a company in the North of UK. But he has design skills and could do better….his employer doesn’t want to give him any further opportunity though….they just want him to stay as an ELTEC for them…because good ELTEC’s are so hard to find in UK……..he was applying for  more suitably technical jobs at different companies and I guess his employer found out….
He then had a very brief  affair with a secretary at his company, and this secretary then  left loads of messages  on his phone….then of course…his wife found out what he had done with the secretary………he has a young 4 year old son….his marriage is now in tatters.

Since he had this affair,  (actually it was just 3 hours in a hotel  one Saturday afternoon when he  told his wife he was going to watch Man Utd play football)….his wife will now not support his desire to move to a new job elsewhere in the UK….she, quite understandably, doesn’t trust him any more. She wont have any more kids with him either….

….So he’s  now stuck in his job as an ELTEC, even though he could do much better. His wife understandably won’t support him in re-locating with him to a new part of the UK to find a better job….due to his brief  adultery

He confessed all  this to me over a few beers one evening. Then, since the marital  rigmarole is affecting his young son also, I suggested that maybe he could get the secretary to tell his wife that she never had an affair with him…..then he stunned me with his response…he told me that he had tried this, but that the secretary had told him that she had accidentally recorded their “trist” in the hotel room, and that she wouldn’t be speaking to his wife.

So he is now totally  stuck  working as a low payed ELTEC  at  his current employer….which is rather convenient for his employer………Hmmmmmmm……….i don’t know if you are thinking what I am thinking about this…???

Anyway, the UK is in  a terrible mess, and it wouldn’t surprise me if “you know what” was happening  in the case which i have described above..…does this stuff happen in the mainland EU , or the States , or SA/Aus/NZ etc etc?

Ive heard many other similar stories like this in UK.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 12:47:15 pm by treez »
 
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Online bd139

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2020, 12:53:41 pm »
Long lunch down wetherspoons?  :-DD

No one wants to do it because the employers are mostly shitty half arsed idiots, the money is bad, the working conditions are terrible and foreign companies are doing it for less and the manufacturing base isn't here either. I jumped into the IT trade because the money was better. I currently work for Americans. You would have to drag me kicking and screaming back to EE. I'd be sitting here now earning £30k still if I was in EE and that's not enough to live on really.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 12:55:15 pm by bd139 »
 
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Online cgroen

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2020, 12:57:44 pm »
I would say that your ELTEC got what he deserved  :-DD
Around here where I am, good luck finding good EE/embedded designers :)
 
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2020, 01:02:42 pm »
Oh hell, yet another treez topic.

Why is it they always involve:
  • UK economy and/or SMPSs
  • bad luck stories
  • friends of the OP

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Offline Zero999

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2020, 02:46:13 pm »
Treez, I've no sympathy for your "friend" who should keep his pants on.

It's probably true there are fewer opportunities for traditional electronics engineers, than there used to be, in the UK, as some of the design has gone to Asia. Fortunately there are still plenty of jobs in software and industrial electrical engineers and many skills possessed by electronic engineers are transferable.
 
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Offline jancumps

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2020, 03:27:13 pm »
well, given that each remaining day of his life will be deep misery for all involved, I hope he had 3 good hours.
 
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Online coppice

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2020, 03:35:14 pm »
You would have to drag me kicking and screaming back to EE. I'd be sitting here now earning £30k still if I was in EE and that's not enough to live on really.
You would need to be dragged kicking and screaming back to EE, or you would need to be dragged kicking and screaming back to EE in the UK, or at least for a UK company?
 
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Online bd139

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2020, 03:45:33 pm »
Both.
 
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Online bd139

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2020, 03:46:08 pm »
Treez, I've no sympathy for your "friend" who should keep his pants on.

It's probably true there are fewer opportunities for traditional electronics engineers, than there used to be, in the UK, as some of the design has gone to Asia. Fortunately there are still plenty of jobs in software and industrial electrical engineers and many skills possessed by electronic engineers are transferable.

Last point is spot on. Most of my IT peers are engineers from other fields as well. Skills are VERY transferable.
 
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Online coppice

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2020, 03:51:58 pm »
Both.
Interesting. Don't you think that electronics offers interesting possibilities for work and a decent income anywhere in the world? I'm not suggesting I do. I'm just interested in other viewpoints. Globally, there certainly have been interesting opportunities around the world in the last 30 years, while electronics in the UK pretty was pretty close to dead by the early 90s. Going forwards things aren't so clear, and I have mixed feelings.
 
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Online coppice

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2020, 03:56:40 pm »
Treez, I've no sympathy for your "friend" who should keep his pants on.

It's probably true there are fewer opportunities for traditional electronics engineers, than there used to be, in the UK, as some of the design has gone to Asia. Fortunately there are still plenty of jobs in software and industrial electrical engineers and many skills possessed by electronic engineers are transferable.

Last point is spot on. Most of my IT peers are engineers from other fields as well. Skills are VERY transferable.
If you look at the poorest performers in a software development team, they are typically the ones with a computer science degree. The best performers are probably the ones who drifted into software from some area of science, engineering or maths.
 
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Online bd139

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2020, 04:17:37 pm »
Both.
Interesting. Don't you think that electronics offers interesting possibilities for work and a decent income anywhere in the world? I'm not suggesting I do. I'm just interested in other viewpoints. Globally, there certainly have been interesting opportunities around the world in the last 30 years, while electronics in the UK pretty was pretty close to dead by the early 90s. Going forwards things aren't so clear, and I have mixed feelings.

Due to the way the manufacturing side of things being outsourced to the far east, that gives you the opportunity to move there if you want to do most interesting product development. If you don't want to do that it's relatively niche. That means relying on reputation. And there is a pretty good pool of well qualified engineers you're going to have to fight with. On supply and demand there are a lot of people who are available who are good and not a lot of places in the UK at least. That has been true since the mid 1990s from my experience.

If you look at the poorest performers in a software development team, they are typically the ones with a computer science degree. The best performers are probably the ones who drifted into software from some area of science, engineering or maths.

Yes indeed. They're quite frankly terrible even after a few years. Computer science doesn't help you build things. It's relatively theoretical. 99% of the job is entirely engineering, problem solving and the ability to manipulate large and complicated things in your head.
 
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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2020, 04:21:37 pm »
Treez, I've no sympathy for your "friend" who should keep his pants on.

It's probably true there are fewer opportunities for traditional electronics engineers, than there used to be, in the UK, as some of the design has gone to Asia. Fortunately there are still plenty of jobs in software and industrial electrical engineers and many skills possessed by electronic engineers are transferable.

Last point is spot on. Most of my IT peers are engineers from other fields as well. Skills are VERY transferable.

Well, yes, but sometimes that's still pretty sad.
Being an experienced EE and ending up in IT... even though it may make good money, I find this real sad. >:D
 
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Online bd139

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2020, 04:26:11 pm »
Hahaha  :-DD. I enjoy EE and doing something for a job always ruins it. It did when I was actually an EE.  So here I am on Saturday building myself what I want to build with the equipment I want to use for no reason other than I want to  :-+. And I’m getting paid to do something I hate. Bingo.
 
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Online coppice

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2020, 04:42:08 pm »
Hahaha  :-DD. I enjoy EE and doing something for a job always ruins it. It did when I was actually an EE.  So here I am on Saturday building myself what I want to build with the equipment I want to use for no reason other than I want to  :-+. And I’m getting paid to do something I hate. Bingo.
Many teenagers are told to do something they love as a career. This assumes they are heading towards a career. Most are just heading for a job. Even if you get a career going, most things you love will suck when you try doing them for a living. The politics alone in most companies is enough to make life a misery. For engineers, developing products you know are going nowhere is soul destroying, and more developments go nowhere than become a market success. There is a good argument for entering a career that offers a relatively stable well paid long term future, and put your passion into pastimes. The snag is figuring out what has at least 40 years of solid future left in it, without changing so much you'll be back to square one in professional development.
 
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Offline MT

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2020, 04:45:02 pm »
Hahaha  :-DD. I enjoy EE and doing something for a job always ruins it. It did when I was actually an EE.  So here I am on Saturday building myself what I want to build with the equipment I want to use for no reason other than I want to  :-+. And I’m getting paid to do something I hate. Bingo.

isn't that contradiction of terms or so?
 
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Online bd139

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2020, 05:01:35 pm »
Nope. Because I have no vested interest in it I can switch off at the end of the day.

coppice has it spot on.

Got add that a friend I've had for years is a pilot. He wanted to do this for a very long time. Did it the hard way and had 8 years of a career doing other stuff before because of a medical issue. Got there. Now ferries drunken scum back and forth to cheap holidays aboard dangerous planes that fly by themselves. What looks romantic when you're at school on careers day isn't reality. You can find him on reddit bitching about Boeing regularly  :-DD
 
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Offline fcb

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2020, 05:04:01 pm »
I looked in on this topic as I thought it might be interesting.  Your friend seems to make consistent poor quality decisions and is perhaps suffering the results of these.

As for shortage of Electronics staff in the UK - this seems to be a part of the general shortage of skilled technical staff that the UK has been suffering from for many many years now.  If the skill was valued that highly by employers then they would likely pay more to get premium talent, which would drive the market in a +ve direction and draw more people in.

But look at the team of people developing a typical electronic device: 1-2 EE's, 1-2 industrial design/manufacturing engineers, 1-3 FW engineers, 15 SW engineers (UI/UX included), 20+ marketeers, project managers etc.. The truth is that loads of the products getting built these days are respins of some reference design.  Our part is small in the overall spend on a project.
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Online coppice

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2020, 05:42:24 pm »
As for shortage of Electronics staff in the UK - this seems to be a part of the general shortage of skilled technical staff that the UK has been suffering from for many many years now.  If the skill was valued that highly by employers then they would likely pay more to get premium talent, which would drive the market in a +ve direction and draw more people in.
The UK has never had a shortage of highly skilled people. It has only ever had a problem of so undervaluing skills that nobody wants the jobs. Its amazing how fast any shortage disappears when an employer starts offering some cash. In practice most UK employers would rather wither and die than attract and retain talented technical people.
 
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2020, 05:46:45 pm »
The snag is figuring out what has at least 40 years of solid future left in it, without changing so much you'll be back to square one in professional development.

It is highly unlikely that anything has 40 years of future left in it. The concept of "the red queen's race" from >150 years ago illustrates that.

What's more important is to continually learn, change, and adapt.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Online coppice

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2020, 05:59:11 pm »
The snag is figuring out what has at least 40 years of solid future left in it, without changing so much you'll be back to square one in professional development.

It is highly unlikely that anything has 40 years of future left in it. The concept of "the red queen's race" from >150 years ago illustrates that.

What's more important is to continually learn, change, and adapt.
Over its entire life, the electronics industry has endlessly changed, but anyone smart and adaptable could learn on the job and in their spare time, and adapt, and keep themselves relevant. Over that same period many other professions have hit a brick wall, where anyone in the field had to start from scratch in something new. They might have needed to finance themselves through years of full time retraining. These two scenarios of the need to adapt are a world apart. No profession exists in stasis. The first type of adaption is good to aim for. The second can be really bad.
 
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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2020, 07:17:12 pm »
Hahaha  :-DD. I enjoy EE and doing something for a job always ruins it. It did when I was actually an EE.  So here I am on Saturday building myself what I want to build with the equipment I want to use for no reason other than I want to  :-+. And I’m getting paid to do something I hate. Bingo.

 ;D

That makes sense, although I personally couldn't have a job that I hate for more than relatively short time (1.5 year max IME). I end up getting so annoyed that I can reach a point where I'll quit even without a back-up plan. That's mostly because a full-time job takes up a lot of your time.

It's true that at some (many?) companies, you may end up disgusted by something you initially enjoyed.

I've been lucky to have 3 jobs for a few years each that I really enjoyed. Every time something changed and I started not to enjoy it anymore, I would usually end up quitting.

What works best for me now is working as a contractor. Not something I would suggest to anyone that 1/ has not enough work experience and 2/ is not financially "stable" yet. So I see it more as something you can pull off when you're more advanced in your career path.

 
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Offline StillTrying

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2020, 07:19:03 pm »
I thought everyone knew that the UK closed down some years ago.
CML+  That took much longer than I thought it would.
 
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Online coppice

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2020, 07:20:03 pm »
I thought everyone knew that the UK closed down some years ago.
It hasn't closed down. Its still open for poor service.
 
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Shortage of Electroncis staff in UK....same in other countries?
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2020, 07:45:39 pm »
Around here we have bls.gov that projects career growth, pay rate by region, etc.  Software engineering has a growth rate, EE not so much.

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/electrical-and-electronics-engineers.htm

Note that they lump electrical and electronics but even then, the 10 year growth rate is just 2% with a median pay of $99k.  Why would anybody sign up for a dead end career?

Software developers are going to enjoy a 21% growth rate over the same period and the median pay is $105k - higher in some regions, less in others.

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm

If you drill down, you will see that California has about 89k Systems Software Developers making a median income of $131k.  Now we're talking!

If you drill down for Electronics Engineers you will see that California only has about 29k and their median salary is just $123k.  Not bad but not as high as Systems Software Engineers.

The statistics are all out there and I assume they are reasonably credible.  There's no point in choosing a profession with essentially zero growth.

« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 07:47:53 pm by rstofer »
 
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