The ICE's attempt to reduce the average age at which Members become Chartered deserves two and half cheers (see News). It loses half a cheer for not acting sooner, but at least the Institution is now displaying the proper sense of urgency.
However, it must bend over backwards to avoid the mistakes that were made when developing New Routes to Membership (nee SARTOR). During the last decade a few well meaning, but sometimes misguided, enthusiasts were allowed to develop a series of over complex proposals which have so far proved impossible to 'sell' to the Membership. There is time to remedy this, but the Institution must make sure it does not make things harder for itself by failing to take the Membership with it every step of the way on this new project.
Still, the initial signs are good. NCE wishes the ICE's working party luck and encourages readers to contact both us and the Institution with the many constructive ideas the new initiative will need to succeed.
Hope for the future II
This week is, as most readers of NCE will undoubtedly already know, National Construction Week. This second attempt to focus attention on the industry's achievements has been much more succesful than the first in 1997.
A series of national events now complements the myriad of local initiatives. Interest from national media is still relatively low, but at least a start has been made.
However, the organisers of NCW appear to have missed a trick. One of the most worthwhile and, to be blunt, exciting jobs performed by engineers (and others in construction) is their role in overseas aid work. We hope our coverage of the Royal Engineers' work in the Balkans and other aid efforts helps drive this message home.