After taking over from Terry Sharp, Graeme Rees has outlined some of the key issues he would like to address during his tenure as President of the Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA).
With the roll-out of the BEMS Controls Engineer Apprenticeship a significant landmark of Mr Sharp’s two years at the helm, Mr Rees is keen to build on the foundation of that and use it to help solve the skills shortage, as well as improving the industry’s gender balance. He says: “The skills shortage is one problem that can’t be ignored as in an ever-changing world it’s imperative that we continue to facilitate a steady flow of skilled individuals into the BEMS industry. The nurturing of fresh talent is also something we must continue to push and I would encourage our members to explore the multiple benefits of taking on an apprentice where feasible. This also ties into the ongoing challenge of improving the gender balance and looking at what we can do to attract more female engineers and employees.”
Graeme is also keen to embrace the increasing presence of Master Systems Integrators (MSIs) and the role they can play in the UK’s mission to meet its net zero target, commenting: “It is no real surprise to see the role of the Master Systems Integrators becoming more prominent. MSIs have become essential partners for many building owners and developers as there are clearly multiple benefits to be had through their engagement. Their increasing popularity will no doubt pose challenges to the more traditional building controls providers, but often with challenges also come opportunities that help drive the evolution of our industry.”
Greater member engagement is another issue that Graeme hopes to drive forward, as he adds: “Ongoing, regular engagement with our members is the only way in which we can achieve real progress and accomplish our goals. Our Marketing, Technical and Skills Working Groups are where a lot of important discussions take place and what starts off as a small idea contributed at our meetings can grow into an industry-changing initiative – the Trailblazer apprenticeship scheme being a perfect example.”
This year the BCIA is expanding upon its successful annual BCIA Awards evening by inviting all members and their guests to attend the first ever BCIA Annual Conference entitled; Building Controls – Addressing the needs of a changing industry.
Graeme concludes: “The agenda includes prominent guest speakers and workshop sessions covering a wide range of developments and policies which impact the building controls sector, and I encourage all those with connections to our industry to attend.”