ICE IN the future will be 'much bigger' and 'more inclusive', pledged President Sir Alan Cockshaw this week when he spoke to members of the board of incorporated engineers and technicians.
IE&T members are 'fundamental' to the future of ICE, he added. 'Not everyone can be chairman or chief executive. It's a team. We all have our particular skills, which is why we need to be a broad church.'
Cockshaw's words were enthusiastically received by the board which for years has battled against the label of being a second class part of the Institution.
The charismatic President empowered BIET to quantify problems facing incorporated engineers and technicians and suggest solutions. 'I'll help you achieve them,' he promised.
Cockshaw's stance appeared very different to that of his predecessor David Green, who caused a furore in December 1996 when he suggested that incorporated engineers lack the status to be local association chairman.
'In every local association we need leadership from people who have got the ability, enthusiasm and commitment. We must harness that,' urged Cockshaw.
There is no correlation between leadership and academic ability, he claimed. 'Just let the right people progress who are best to do the job.'
Fears of decreasing membership and difficulties in encouraging technicians to join ICE because it offers no career benefits were raised by IE&T members during the meeting. 'I don't have any magic answers,' admitted Cockshaw. 'We will have to find answers between us.'
He outlined his vision for an institution where 'people feel it is in their best interests, both professional and social, to
Cockshaw arrived 20 minutes late for the hour-long encounter but any doubts over his commitment were soon dispelled. He explained he was delayed because he was interviewing candidates for the post of Director General & Secretary.