23 May, 2022

Boardroom Report - Challenges and opportunities

11 February, 2021

working pressure. The company is also a member of the BFPA and the WJA, however the team recognised the importance of SIR in the European marketplace.”

As a new member, Abdex has signed the Declaration of Intent. “Standardisation, certification and safety is very important to us,” says Gunter. “Abdex will always supply our customers with 100% safe and tested hose assemblies/products. Continuous improvement, standardisation and training will ensure that the industry and those supplying it will remain a safe one. Abdex, with the help of SIR, Parker Polyflex, the contractors, the jetters and everyone in the industry can further ‘raise the bar’ and standards to make the industry more efficient and most importantly safer.”

Gunter explains that the Abdex production team will be testing and working to strict regulations (including additional exacting controls) every day. “Our equipment and procedures ensure the safety of our employees,” he says. “Stringent procedures at Abdex means our customers can be assured of the product quality and safety of every hose assembly supplied by Abdex. Abdex customers all over the world can be secure they are receiving a fully certified, 100% tested, 100% safe, asset managed and fully traceably hose assembly/product.”

Education and training

What are our commentators’ views on current available training courses and education in general within the UK? Jones maintains that ensuring engineers are equipped with the latest skills remains a key priority for all sectors of industry, in a bid to ensure that best practice, changes in legislation and standards are all adhered to. “Recognising this need for training to be delivered to suit the needs of a dynamic and changing workforce, Jones points out that BCAS has recently invested in a new e-learning portal, allowing delegates to learn at a pace, and from a location, that suits. “BCAS is recognised within the industry as a provider of training and development for engineers, technical professionals and users of compressed air,” she says. “Working with its members, the society develops training based on industry standards and best practice. These include specialist courses that are tailored to the needs of industry professionals, end users and suppliers; that combine the safe working and understanding of compressed air with its multiple uses.”

In Bartlett’s view, the flow control industry is blessed in many respects as it can rely on superb training centres and expertise. “BVAA members often comment on the quality of available talent when recruiting, however, and I still maintain that you can best invest by ‘growing your own’,” he says. “It is of no surprise to me that the companies with seemingly the best talent are the ones out there doing the hard yards at school and university jobs fairs.”

Buxton has always believed that a strong skills base and associated education system in any society is the backbone of its economic and social success. “Since the 1970s, through a mixture of pseudo-intellectualising and political intervention, the UK educational landscape has become over complex and is in many ways unfit for purpose,” he says. “This is a sweeping generalisation and there are always going to be shining examples of exceptions to this statement, but it is significant that the single biggest obstacle to business growth in the UK is a shortage of suitably qualified individuals – with a good work ethic. This latter qualification is a harsh reality and successive governments from both sides of the House have spectacularly failed to address the problem. Until we do, the UK will never reach its full potential and it is now all the more important in light of Brexit.”

The future

What do our commentators

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