The life & times of an HVAC Engineer











{September 22, 2010}   5, 4, 3, 2, 1…lift off!

Today I attended the launch of the European Construction Institute (ECI) People Taskforce. It was started after the ECI “Futures Taskforce” identified that people and collaboration are, and will continue to be, vital to the future success not only of the engineering construction industry but also to society as a whole. It was decided after that, to conclude the Futures Taskforce by starting two new ones; People & Collaboration. I’ve been one of the 6 or so core team members since the People Taskforce first began back in spring 2010.
It has been an interesting journey so far, defining the remit of the Taskforce, and doing some research into what is already taking place. It was this research in fact that lead me to getting involved with Engineers Without Borders, and the local colleges’ Engineering diplomas as well as finding out about the Ingenious Women project that lead to me starting this blog.

Our final decision on the remit of the People Taskforce was to identify best practise, create new knowledge and support its use in order to:-
attract and recruit people
train and develop people
appraise and reward people
in the European engineering construction industry to enable the effective delivery of projects.

Today though the Taskforce really spread its wings by engaging with various organisations, from employers at all stages in the supply chain, to academic institutes, training providers and of course STEMNET. It was fantastic to be in a room full of people who all care about attracting people into engineering/construction and then training and developing them. It’s very motivating to know how much interest there is in making sure companies are following best practise when it comes to getting the right person into a role and them making them the best that they can be. It’s also very inspiring to be part of a team of people who have had some very interesting experiences in their engineering careers (like being a female project manager on site in Saudi Arabia).

The day consisted of sharing the story so far, including the results of some research into project management continuing professional development, sharing some examples of best practise, and then essentially brainstorming about what the issues really are. This brainstorming was then distilled through further discussion into a few priority issues, and some ideas on how the attendees wanted the ECI People Taskforce to address these issues so we have an agenda for the year to come. I’ll share exactly what the agenda is once its been published, but I was certainly pleased to see that one of the priority issues we’ll be addressing is how to attract more young people into engineering construction. So, keep a look out for ECI member companies sending STEM Ambassadors or mentors to a school near you…or possibly even offering work experience places if you (or a teenager you know) want one!

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