Inspiring the next generation of building controls installers

he ongoing skills shortage in the building controls industry, as well as across the engineering sector continues to be a hot topic. Research conducted by Engineering UK found an additional 1.8 million engineers and technically qualified people are needed by 2025. If we are to overcome this shortage and continue to move forward, more action is needed now. Young people today face a difficult decision when it comes to their future, and with many career options available, and often little information, it can be a daunting decision. Following the recent budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond has confirmed a major investment for 16-19-year-old students to undertake technical training. New technical qualifications called T-levels will be introduced between 2018 and 2022, with the aim to upskill young people, as well as to simplify the process of vocational training in England for construction and engineering.


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Malcolm Anson, President of the Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) looks at the skills shortage in the industry and explains how training and young people will go a long way in tackling the shortage.

These new qualifications will be a welcome boost in raising the profile of the industry and will go a long way in helping to shape the future of building controls.

A great example

In fact, young people will be the key to the future success of the building controls industry and George Belfield, who works for one of our member companies, is a great example of this. At the recent BCIA Awards, George, a trainee building controls engineer for InTandem Systems, won the award for Young Engineer of the Year.

Inspired by his brother, a building controls electrician, George decided a career in the building controls industry was the way forward for him. He was spurred on by the exciting prospect of working on so many fantastic buildings, as well as the chance to be involved in projects from the design stage, right through to commissioning and handover. George, like many other young people has successfully completed the Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) training courses and the knowledge gained has given George the chance to work on many famous buildings. This is a fantastic experience for a young person and further highlights the importance of training and how it can lead to numerous opportunities in the industry.

Training programmes

The next step for George – as with all young people – is to progress through the ranks to become a building controls engineer. This is well within his reach and by continuing with his professional studies and undertaking more product specific training, further opportunities will open up to him. By embracing training programmes, young people will be well equipped with the skills and knowledge required to drive building controls and themselves forward.

George is a true inspiration to young people having shown dedication to the industry and a commitment to training, which will help him go far in the industry.

The fast pace of change within this industry means that it is an exciting place to work. But if we are to tackle the skills shortage we need more young people like George to join us. We need to show the next generation that building controls offer an exciting, lifelong career option and more importantly that it is a career to aspire to.

With the progression of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart building technology, there has never been a better time than now to join the building controls industry and it is this message that we need to make clear to the next generation of building controls engineers. WRAP-AROUND - PIPE DAMAGE CONTROL

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