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13 Welding World Highlight SAFETY FIRST MANUFACTURING
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TWI – TIG Welding SuperSnakes weld their way Economics of Silver Brazing MACH 2012 Industry Insight Ask the Expert
HarveyÊs Weldweb Sif Tips
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Armageddon...was the word used by a lifelong supporter and AWD Member recently to describe the perilous state of the World’s financial position. I certainly have to agree. The world of free trade and commerce, as we knew it, is changing, as Countries now grapple with the mountain of debt socialised by the Banks in 2007. But commerce itself has faced many similar problems over its lifetime and I believe, will certainly overcome and survive current events.
Many of us could be described as entrepreneurial, capitalist and conservative, but all these qualities make us naturally optimistic as we strive daily within our businesses to make a difference to the outcome. So what do we have to do, to survive Armageddon or the changes now facing world trade as we know it?
One major mystery in the world of commerce is how it exists at all, because no one fundamentally controls the outcome. Business develops from ideas, contacts, opportunity and value and this, the free market economy, not Governments or Banks, creates the environment in which we all live and trade.
Certainly the world has primarily tuned into the fact that "easy money" is an aspect of trade, not happening on a High Street near you, at any time in the near future. This fact brings us back to the basics and the urgent necessity to find other methods of trade and commerce to support our society. We do need to replace our consumer spending dependency with that of something far more fundamental and the focus on developing the infrastructure and in the case of UK PLC, our Energy Industry, hopefully reducing our dependency on others. This will be the kick start needed for a Manufacturing based economy and will be the single most important development to the UK Welding Industry in the past 35 years.
It is therefore an excellent opportunity, to concentrate our minds, on all that is good about our rewarding industry and think about the positive outcome that is ahead. We should celebrate the recognition of Skills that exists currently and applaud the support provided by AWD Members, Lincoln Electric (World Skills), Air Products (World Skills and Skillweld 2012) and BOC (UK Apprentice Welder). We must consider the urgent necessity the industry has for some 20 to 30,000 additional, competent welders and develop ways in which this challenge can be met. In this context, we should also offer our full support to fellow Members, John Pearsall Training the mastermind behind most UK Welder Skills competitions, the Wilkinson Welding Academy and the Weldability Sif Foundation in developing their various welder skills training programs.
The HSE has kindly, once again requested, the AWD's support with their "Clear the Air" campaign by staging Fume Focus presentations at 4 different locations in November. All of these were exceptionally well attended and positioned the AWD as the voice of the welding industry. The AWD also recognises the necessity to play an active role in the Manufacturing Industry exhibition MACH 2012 as it celebrates a centenary event. We will be doing all we can to highlight its importance and relevance right now. More about all these events can be found inside yet another excellent edition of this Welding World magazine or our website www.awd.org.uk
The AWD is in tune with the future. We continue to work with other industry based organisations and develop a voice in Parliament for our Industry. The National Executive and Council, continues to develop the Association of Welding Distribution to an exceptionally high standard and one that I am justly proud of. There has never been a better time to be a Member; working together, we gain a collective opportunity to develop our industry for the benefit of all.
Far from Armageddon, I do believe that history will report this time as the real Age of Opportunity!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish AWD membera and all our readers, a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year in 2012. Adrian Hawkins, AWD National Chairman
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