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BUILDING CONTROLS BSEE It’s time for transformation T

Jon Belfield, President of the Building Controls Industry Associaon (BCIA), highlights how young people are raising the bar in the building controls sector and explores the importance of next generaon engineers in futureproofing commercial buildings.

echnology can be all consuming – more so now than ever before for young people today. But how can this actually work to the advantage of the dynamic world of building controls? Well, a start is to invest in opportunities for young talent entering the building controls sector. There are many ‘potential’ engineers around us who perhaps need a helping hand in choosing the best career path for them. According to Engineering UK, in 2014/15, there was a 9% increase in those who obtained an engineering and technology first degree while there was a 15% growth in apprenticeships in England.

In fact, 108,000 people took their first steps into engineering during this same period which is the highest number of engineering related apprenticeship starts in England for 10 years. Additionally, further research pinpointed a significant rise of 40-51% in 11-16 year olds that would consider a career in engineering. As I have briefly touched

upon in previous columns, the BCIA is working in partnership with the Government campaign ‘Year of Engineering’ to celebrate the wonders of engineering and inspire the next generation.

These ‘fresh’ faces will be responsible for helping to transform our sector and lead the way. With the continuing rise of smart buildings and thanks to evolving technology, the need and opportunity for new talent has never been greater, and our challenge is to engage and attract these skilled engineers. I believe one of the ways in which we can do this is by looking through the eyes of young people and focus not only on what they can do for us but what we can do for them.

Millennials are confident and familiar with the latest modern technologies and trends and are not afraid to put them into action to obtain maximum results. Young problem solvers with inquisitive minds can of course greatly benefit our buildings not only now but by future-proofing them to

ensure sustainable through- life operation.

Developing any new talent requires an investment of time and money, therefore, as an industry we need to ensure that we continue to collectively embrace young talent who revel within the sophisticated built environment by keeping them motivated with a clear progression route to ensure they have fulfilling careers and bring positive changes to future buildings.

There are already so many smart young workers within the building controls sector who are doing great things on a daily basis and these people are our future role models who will undoubtedly entice more people to follow in their footsteps. To celebrate such successes, the BCIA recognises the dedication and achievements of young talent within the controls industry at the prestigious BCIA Awards ceremony. As always, there were strong entries, but one candidate edged ahead of the competition – Gregory Smith of Matrix Control Solutions, who was crowned

Young Engineer of the Year at the Awards.

Greg started his career as an Apprentice

Commissioning Engineer and is currently completing his apprenticeship. He also successfully passed the first two BCIA modules which helped him to progress further in his career and add to his skills, confidence and ideas on a wide range of projects. Greg is a great example of well-targeted help and investment in his career.

There’s no doubt that young innovative engineers like Greg are the future of the building controls industry – the next generation will continue to take

commercial buildings to the next level by transforming existing and new builds through effective building controls and expertise. We need to continue building on those wonderful statistics and work

collectively to inspire young talent to take the initial steps into the exciting and rewarding career of building controls. ‘ Millennials are

confident and familiar with the latest modern technologies and trends and are not afraid to put them into acon to obtain maximum results. Young problem solvers with inquisive minds can of course greatly benefit our

buildings not only now but by futureproofing them to ensure sustainable throughlife operaon.


amazing control, stunning performance

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