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2016 in review

2017 is finally here (and lets all hope we don’t see as many legends pass away this year). Before we look ahead at all things new, its time to see how far we’ve come in 2016. It’s been an interesting year for the plumbing and heating industry, as well as the CIPHE at large. Here’s a quick recap on the year that was:

January: After a very mild December, the artic winds began to blow. The big freeze saw frozen pipes aplenty over the land and emergency calls rise for plumbing and heating professionals. The Employer Skills Survey 2015, published on the 28 January 2016 by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), found that vacancies for skilled workers had grown significantly in the last two years, with a shortage of 43% in the trades. The building industry in particular was feeling ‘heightened difficulties’ in recruiting staff, with over a third of vacancies for electricians, plumbers, gas engineers and construction workers being termed as ‘skill shortage vacancies’.

February: The CIPHE urged consumers to find trustworthy professionals via its website, while in the industry, the magnificent Fishmongers’ Hall in London played host to the annual Livery Companies Skill Council awards ceremony. Around 120 people watched Alderman The Lord Mountevans, The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of London, present candidates with their certificates including two members of the CIPHE; Shaun Burrows EngTech MCIPHE RP and John Pashley EngTech MCIPHE RP who received Master Plumber Certificates.

March: World Plumbing Day took place once again on the 11th March with the CIPHE President’s Dinner taking place at HQS Wellington, two days earlier on 9th March. The Institute warned consumers about the dangers of DIY with the impending bank holiday weekend.

April: The CIPHE was granted a licence to award Chartered Engineer (CEng) status. Kevin Wellman, Chief Executive Officer of the CIPHE said, “This is excellent news for our members. As a Chartered Institute, it makes sense that we should be able to provide this route for those who are seeking Chartered Engineer status.”

May: The Institute highlighted the danger to elderly and vulnerable people of shoddy plumbing and heating workmanship. The CIPHE Apprentice Awards were launched.

June: History was made at the CIPHE’s AGM on Saturday 18 June at the Tudor Park Marriott Hotel in Maidstone, Kent, when 39-year-old Paul Williams was elected as one of the CIPHE’s youngest ever National Presidents. Geoff Westall was voted in as the Vice President. Paul Harmer IEng MEI MIET also joined the CIPHE as Technical Director.

July: With school holidays on the horizon and the British summer actually living up to a bit of sun this year, it was time for the CIPHE to raise awareness about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning – especially for those camping or caravanning. The CIPHE also advised consumers on the best ways to conserve water over the hotter summer months.

August: The CIPHE and the prestigious German plumbing and heating design software company Willms GmbH, agreed an exclusive strategic alliance.

September: The CIPHE champions water efficiency with the publication of its Water Efficiency Paper. The Techtalk series starts to role into production with the aim of delivering technical webinars and articles on burning issues within the plumbing and heating industry.

October: The Institute calls on ambitious engineers to strive for CEng, in a bid to increase the numbers of highly skilled and qualified professionals in the more specialised industry roles. With autumn setting in, the public is urged to keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable relatives or friends to make sure their heating systems have been serviced for the winter ahead.

November: Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week sees the CIPHE hitting the headlines when it comes to consumer advice, while World Toilet day makes a splash in its own right. The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) and CIPHE announce a collaborative alliance.

December: A new survey of heating and plumbing engineers undertaken by the CIPHE and Plumb Center reveals them to be the unsung heroes of the festive season. Calls start to rise for Part L of the Building Regulations to be reviewed.