Institute of Refrigeration president Andy Pearson has used his speech at the IOR’s 113th Anniversary Dinner to call on the industry to work more closely with its younger engineers.
Dr Pearson said: “We have some incredibly talented young people coming into our industry, but to ensure that we don’t lose them to an apparently more flashy or lucrative field we need to nurture their skills and ability.”
“Why is this important? The food chain, and particularly the cold chain, is under greater scrutiny now than ever before. The refrigeration industry has an absolutely first-class record when it comes to food safety but now, more than ever before, we have got to work hard, not only to keep delivering that excellent performance but to be seen to be delivering it in order that we build public confidence. To do this we need, now more than ever before, an active and productive Institute, and we need our skilled and talented young people to be a part of that process.”
Dr Pearson said that he had been encouraged by ‘the skills and positive attitude’ of the finalists in the RAC/IOR National Student of the Year and those he had met at the IOR students and young engineer networking sessions.
He added: “I strongly recommend that if you employ a young engineer or scientist who needs a broader experience, that you permit and enable them to join an Institute committee or even stand next year as a candidate for council. Year on year, the average age of Institute members is reducing and in April I will hand over to a President who is younger than I am. This is a trend that I welcome, and that I hope will continue, not only for the good of the Institute, but for the well-being and career development of our young people as well.”