In a month where I’ve undertaken training of my own, as an accounting officer for the ECITB, it’s been eye-opening to spend so much time with our different training providers, both on location and at our annual Approved Training Provider Forum in Edinburgh.
It’s been great to see the real difference the ECITB is making on the ground right now. Meeting so many enthusiastic scholars and apprentices during my tours of different colleges has given me a great sense of hope for the future.
These visits to training providers are also about gaining valuable insights, such as a chat I had with Pembrokeshire College welding instructor Danny Williams that emphasised the benefits of having instruction from someone specifically with industry experience.
How we go about attracting the next generation to engineering construction is a point that I’ve been hearing a lot, so it was fascinating to visit the centres of excellence at Bridgwater & Taunton College and the National College for Nuclear at Cannington to see how they are helping provide skilled workers for one of the biggest construction projects in Europe at Hinkley Point.
Meeting the skills needs of a changing industrial landscape has been a recurring theme, and the ECITB is committed to deepening our strategic ties to anticipate and deliver skills specific to the needs and challenges of each region.
This was something also in evidence as I followed my trips west with a visit to Humberside, where I met employers, providers and asset owners to discuss the region’s decarbonisation plans and the ambitious plans to grow skilled worker numbers in the area.
Being forward-thinking will always be paramount in the work of the ECITB and our stakeholders, but we must still take time to reflect, especially when it comes to celebrating achievements of the industry.
This is why I was hugely excited to attend my first Engineering Construction Industry Training and Development Awards as chief executive at the Cutty Sark in London. It was great to join so many different people from across the sector to celebrate the brightest and best of our industry.
I would like to again congratulate all the winners and finalists who are great examples of the success stories from across industry over the past year. The quality of nominations this year reflects the strength of talent in the industry and the breadth of attendees on the night shows that these awards are one of the biggest events in the engineering construction calendar.