SPED in the UK & Eire
We said in the January SPED Update that the piper training environment is different in the UK. There is considerable Government support for training, but it is targeted at quite low level skills. I am involved with Cogent the main provider and trying to get them to raise the sights of the skill levels to engineers which would include piping design and layout specialists. I am doing this by linking them into my professional body the IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers).
Training used to be provided by industry training boards. There are only two Training Boards still in existence, but one cuts right into the UK SPED market. It is the ECITB (Engineering Construction Industries Training Board). It exists through a compulsory levy on all companies trading in that sector. The levy has been used to develop a training course, of which the SPED executive Director has seen portions, when we looked closely at the UK market in January 2009. There is so much staff turnover in the market that it is difficult to get any feedback on its use, most of our good contacts have been let go. It was meant to be completed in August 2009.
Bill and I tried to negotiate some of our material bring included and also to get the SPED Certification tests used at the conclusion of training. Our approach was declined on the former, but the latter is still a possibility.
So Corporate Membership and Piper Certification is where we focus our marketing efforts. If US Corporate Members can help us with their UK sister companies it would be to the great benefit of SPED.
We are getting a toe hold in Ireland. We are only prospecting in the English speaking countries so far.
The items making the Process headlines this month are:
The National Grid, the now privatised company that controls the UK’s distribution network of electricity and gas is trying to build 8x20MW biofuel plants. Environmentalists are protesting.
The IMechE is telling the British government what every engineer knows that the target of a new nuclear powers station every year from 2018 will not be achieved, at least in the early years, so the UK still faces power cuts for 2015 onwards.
Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) still gets regular headlines with new pilot scale plants popping up in many locations throughout Europe. I am organising a conference in October where I also hope to have US speakers.