04 March 2015

BPF Launches Education and Skills Committee

upvc waste conferenceProviding a dedicated forum for the British Plastics Federation to tackle the shortfall of available skilled staff within the plastics industry, the organisation’s ‘Education and Skills Committee has now held its opening meeting at BPF House in London.

The meeting, which was attended by a cross section of member plastics firms, together with training providers and Universities involved in supplying the Plastics Industry, worked to address challenges surrounding the availability of relevant training schemes and raised the profile of the Science Industry Partnership’s (SIPS ) and Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standards.

Commenting on the meeting and its concept, newly elected committee Chairman and Managing Director of Gabriel-Chemie Philip Watkins: “The aim of this new committee is to promote the flow of personnel into the industry who either possess the appropriate skills or who have the potential to acquire them.” He went on to add, “It will cover all issues connected with plastics including primary, secondary and tertiary education and will tackle issues relating to the recruitment of staff into the Plastics Industry, the provision of training and the acquisition of appropriate skills.”

The committee’s purpose will also be to liaise with industrial companies and groups both inside and outside the British Plastics Federation, government departments such as the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, educational establishments, government sponsored agencies, professional institutes and training providers.

It also intends to carry out a detailed consultation across the Federation’s 480 membership firms to establish exact skill requirements and devise strategies to help plastics firms develop their staff and train apprentices.

The launch of the committee demonstrates that the acquisition of skills and training is top of the industry’s agenda, sharing the opinion of Merritt Plastics that only by developing staff and training apprentices appropriately can this skills gap – which also bears relevance to the Waste PVC-U & plastic recycling industry – decrease and the industry itself continue to advance.

Tackling the issue further, the BPF plans to address the skills subject through the seminar, ‘Demystifying the Plastics Skills Landscape’ on which more details will be available soon.