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GSNC urged to fight for fast route to membership

ROBERT HOLLINGDALE, retiring regional liaison officer for Scotland, Ireland and Africa, last week urged the Graduates and Students National Committee to fight for faster routes to membership.

In a stirring speech at their annual conference he said: '5.4 years is the average time it takes to get chartered. That has to be cut by at least a year, if not more.'

He added: 'The GSNC represents 25,000 people - a third of the total membership. That is a huge responsibility, and taking ownership is critical.'

Hollingdale supported the revisions to the ICE's 'green' and 'blue' books and urged the GSNC to press the Engineering Council to address the issues that are holding back their release as a matter of priority.

He then turned his attention to the perennial GSNC debate - quarterly reports: 'I've been arguing about quarterly reports for 16 years. There is far too much hype.

'It is not a test of your ability to write reports. What it is is a heaven sent opportunity to record what you have done, to quantify it in a schedule of objectives and, vitally, to plan for the next stage.

'I may be cavalier, but close any gaps by covering a whole year at once if need be. Posthumous quarterly reports are a complete waste of time. Get up to date and plan, ' he urged.

Few could argue with Hollingdale's credentials to make such statements. He stands down at the end of this month after 16 years as RLO, during which time he has visited 160 companies on the ICE's training index, worked with 200 supervising civil engineers and mentored 780 graduates training under agreement.

He finished by thanking everyone for their support and by making one wish to his successor: 'If I had a wish it would be that Jacqui (Bell) has as much fun as I've had.'

Jacqui Bell has been appointed as new RLO for Scotland. She graduated in 1990 and became a member in 1995. She has devoted much of her career to mentoring others and has been an active member of Chilterns local association.

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