Bridging the skills gap – what can we do?

My new role as President of the Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) gives me an excellent platform to help shape the future of the building controls industry.

It just so happens that the start of my Presidency falls within the official “Year of Engineering”. I see this as a golden opportunity to raise awareness of the role of engineering within smart and innovative buildings and ultimately help to bridge the skills gap that our industry faces. I also believe professional development is integral to shaping the industry and the engineers of tomorrow…
According to statistics from Engineering UK, an additional 1.8 million engineers and technically qualified people are needed by 2025. This offers a great opportunity for the engineers of the future and the Building Controls Industry is well placed to be part of this growth for skills. Our challenge is to all engage and attract these engineers to our sector so Let’s shout about all the good things that our industry is actually doing…because there’s plenty!

The purpose of the government’s “Year of Engineering” campaign is to celebrate the wonders of engineering, tackle the sizable skills gap and inspire the next generation of engineers. The BCIA echoes those values and is a proud partner of this initiative.

Training engineers is something I am very passionate about. I believe professional development is key for individuals to thrive and feel motivated within a company. What’s more, training can only have a beneficial impact on an organisation with employees growing in confidence and being able to share valuable knowledge and experience.

The building controls sector is constantly evolving thanks to advancing technology and as a result has recently seen a dramatic rise in smart buildings. It is thanks to skilled engineers who are creative, innovative, methodical and able to problem solve under pressure, that so many commercial buildings are sustainable and cost-effective.

Since technology isn’t standing still, we can’t afford to be complacent. This means offering continuous training to our engineers, so that they are aware of the latest developments in the sector.

The recent launch of the new Building Controls Integrator ECS card is an important milestone within the sector as it enables engineers to prove they have the skills listed in accordance with their card, to demonstrate their achievements to clients and employers. This gives validation to engineers either starting out or those with many years of experience under their belt.

Another key factor is accessible training which is instrumental to boosting the numbers of those entering the dynamic world of building controls. The BCIA has recently updated their suite of six courses to encompass the very latest in technology, with a range of levels from those on the very first step onto the building controls ladder, to those who have vast experience but wish to expand their knowledge further.

So, perhaps take a moment to think about what you are doing to help the future of the building controls industry…whether that’s sharing your own unique passion of engineering to inspire others into a career in the industry, or by ensuring your employees are fully up to speed with industry developments by offering them relevant training opportunities.

We can celebrate engineering in many ways, so let’s demonstrate to young people and those who may have limited knowledge of engineering as a profession, how exciting and worthwhile it really is and bridge the skills gap by 2025

Find out more about the Year of Engineering here