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After graduating he returned home to his family and joined UKIP, mostly for the social side rather than hardcore politics. It was through personal connections in UKIP that he found the job as a carpenter. He also found his wife through UKIP but both people have since left the party and are no longer active in politics.
He has attended a reasonable number of interviews for engineering positions in the first 5 years since graduation but companies seemed to show less interest in him after that. He is concerned that his engineering degree has effectively died through a lack of an opportunity to use it. He also asked me if 'refresher' courses are available, and I told him that he could do an MSc but I'm not sure if it will benefit him because employers really want work experience in engineering rather than higher academic qualifications.
Things he doesn't want to do are:
1. An electrician. Building electricians really are a different breed from electrical engineers. Most of the work that electricians do (new builds and some commercial buildings being an exception) is building work rather than electrical work and it's harder labour cutting holes in diamond-hard bricks; working in cramped and dusty attics; and pulling cables through tight conduits than it is working on wooden flooring. If he really wanted to become an electrician then he wouldn't have bothered with A Levels and a degree.
2. Financial services. Some people argue that he has a mathematical degree so he can go and work in some investment bank in the City. It's a totally different mindset from engineering - and the ICT and carpentry work that he has done - and even the maths required is of a different type. He also doesn't want to work in central London. He said that he wouldn't mind being an economist but as he hasn't formally studied economics he would have to study another degree. He looked at becoming an actuary but the learning curve is steep; jobs aren't easy to come by; and insurance companies might not want to employ a 'failed' electrical engineer in his 30s over one of countless mathematics graduates with a 1st class degree in their 20s. Accountancy is oversubscribed and it's possible that software will replace many accountants in the future.
3. Teaching. He looked into becoming a computer science teacher but teaching in schools is stressful and demoralising. Despite shortages of 'good' computer science teachers it isn't always easy to get a job teaching this subject due to budget constraints in schools and teaching unions protecting the jobs of, now obsolescent, former ICT teachers who know less about computer science than the kids they teach.
Does anybody have anything to say about this?