MUCH HAS been written regarding the skill shortage in engineering. This is especially true in the pipeline industry.
The Pipeline Industries Guild has recognised this shortage which manifests itself clearly in the small number of younger members of our Guild. Over the past two years we have implemented our Youth Initiative to encourage young engineers to get involved in some aspect of pipeline work.
The Guild has developed a network of younger people already involved in the pipeline industry and offered them a range of activities aimed at personal and career development. This has included outdoor pursuits for teambuilding in Scotland, a careers forum at Pipelines 2000, careers mentoring and social events such as Guild 5-a-side football tournaments. We hope to establish an autonomous youth division of the Guild within the next 12 months.
This type of activity is reflected in the programme for Pipelines 2002. All those involved in the pipelines industry must work together to encourage young engineers in the UK to pursue careers in this field and limit the damage of the skills shortage. Pipelines 2002 will have a Learning Zone: Universities will be present as well as many other potential employers and professional bodies such as The Pipeline Industries Guild.
I would encourage those exhibiting at Pipelines 2002 to consider their presence with the skills shortage in mind. Stands should aim to attract and retain the great potential and existing resource this country has in pipeline engineering. I would also encourage those at the start of or at a change point in their careers to mark the date of Pipelines 2002 in their diaries and come along to benchmark the potential of a career in pipelines.
Ruth Allen, Chairman of The Pipeline Industries Guild and managing director of Ewan Associates Ltd.