CIPHE president Kevin McCallister highlighted the need for industry organisations to work together at this year's President's Dinner.

Mr McCallister, national president of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), welcomed some 55 guests to the dinner, which took place at The Royal College of Surgeons on 4 March. The guest speaker was Stephen Kay, chair of WRAS.

The dinner was attended by prominent figures from organisations serving the plumbing and heating industry, including the Master of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers.

Mr Kay said that CIPHE and WRAS have much in common, as both organisations regard the health of the public as their highest priority. This relationship has strengthened with the support given by the Institute to the water industry and its involvement in the creation of WaterSafe. 

Mr McCallister talked about his involvement with the Construction Industry Council. He represents the Institute on their Diversity Panel. "The construction industry along with government is waking up to the fact that we have a skills shortage within the industry. We need to encourage women and ethnic minorities to recognise that they can develop an exciting career path with learning lifetime skills and this will go some way to bridging the gap. A fact that is not well published is that construction is the largest employment area in the UK," he said.

He went on to talk about the importance of working closely with other organisations such as water companies, colleges, WRAS, trade associations, the World Plumbing Council and WaterSafe.

Mr McCallister also discussed the work carried out by the Institute in helping to develop the new Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician Trailblazer Apprenticeship.

"I am passionate about training and believe this review of the structure of apprenticeships is long overdue. It's great to see industry organisations working together for one common aim – to raise the standards of young people entering the industry."