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Four years is enough: Giumelli

Ertech executive chairman Jim Giumelli has been working as an engineer for 40 years and employing engineering graduates for 19 of those years.Giumelli told CIN’S sister publication Contractor he did not believe the restructured engineering course at UWA was a step forward for the industry. Supporters of the restructure say many UWA engineering students are completing five-year double degrees anyway, but Giumelli said the extra year’s study did not produce a better engineer.“I have gone on record saying I don’t believe double degree engineers have more value than a single Bachelor of Engineering,” he said.“How much do you know when you leave university? You know next to nothing. The concept of having a double degree doesn’t make you a more valued potential employee in the engineering sector. We would rather see engineers with the right attitude come out and learn a bit about the industry, then go back and do their second degree. Then they have some value.”Giumelli said the longer course structure could deter prospective students, who could complete a recognised degree in less time at other universities.“Basically you are taking another year to do what should be a four-year course,” he said. “If I had a chance of getting out on the street and earning $100,000 a year, and it took five years to do it one way and four years to do it the other way, I’m going to vote with my feet, aren’t I?“[Also] you’ve got five years of HECS [HELP] to pay back versus four years.”

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