Modularity/ Off-Site Construction Revisited.

I would like to return to the topic of modular/off-site construction as it could impact significantly on the profession as will the introduction of artificial intellenge and robots both could create a revolution in the way plumbers operate. Interest is growing in this development as the advantages are being highlighted with a number of large companies who are beginning to invest in the process. It involves some or all of the fabrication or assembly of components being carried out within the controlled environment of the factory or workshop rather than on- site. Even though the associated costs are much the

Artificial Intelligence and Plumbing

I want to return to the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the possible consequences on the plumbing profession. Commentators continue to offer their ideas on the impact of AI and the introduction of robots. Their views span a wide spectrum ranging from significant to less significant consequences. It is a fascinating but complex topic particularly as it relates to practical and trade professions. Alan Turin articulated his ideas when laying the foundations of computing and information technology. His question about the limits of the introduction of robots is fundamental and commentators still attempt to address the possible answers. Robots

Working Relationships and Partnerships in Plumbing

One of the most important aspects associated with plumbing are the effectiveness of working partnerships between all the elements of the profession, colleges and other training providers. The value of such relationships and partnerships cannot be overestimated. Having been a principal this was one aspect I encouraged but was aware that such relationships could become stained because of financial and political problems within the college. There was always the danger that colleges and staff could become preoccupied and inward looking with internal issues and as a result neglect external links. This again was often associated with financial cuts or problems

The Importance of Workplace Mathematics

Questions continue to be raised about the teaching and learning of mathematics in schools and colleges and the levels of participation in the subject post-16. Questions continue to arise about its purpose and centrality in the schools national curriculum and the introduction of functional mathematics in vocational awards. In addition, concerns are being raised about the quality and quantity of students entering further and higher education to study courses that require mathematics such as plumbing. We live in a technological society based on mathematics and science, so it is concerning that schools, colleges and universities continue to turn out students

Further and Vocational Education

In Further and Higher Education there are major concerns about recruitment, retention, achievement and ultimate destination of students studying engineering and technology. Colleges and universities continue to experience difficulties in realising their student target numbers and there are concerns about the quality of the students being accepted onto the programmes of study at all levels within the two sectors. Skills/competence/knowledge/understanding gaps are now manifest across the spectrum of employment, whether it be at craft, technician or professional level. One major difficulty the FE colleges experience is obtaining valid, reliable and up-to-date statistical information about the students studying engineering across the