Pamela Taylor OBE, chief executive of Water UK, spoke about the importance of plumbing to public health at a speech to the CIPHE.

Lee Davies FCIPHE RP, national president of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE), welcomed 60 guests to the dinner from across the plumbing and heating industry.

Pamela Taylor OBE, chief executive of Water UK, spoke at the event about a range of subjects affecting the water industry, which included cross connections, water consumption, public health and the proposed WaterSafe Installer Scheme.

Taylor said: “We have come a long way together but we still have a way to go. Water in this country faces real challenges from availability and quality through to the proposals for the reform of the way in which we run the markets.

“However, what is fundamental above all this is our overarching duty to the public health of the nation. People implicitly trust the water they drink, cook with or wash in, every time they turn the tap. They expect it to be there and they expect it to be safe. All of us in this room have a part to play in making sure that this trust is well placed.”

The president thanked Pamela for her thought provoking speech and talked about his progression from plumbing apprentice to his involvement in education. Davies, who is a Fellow of the Institute for Learning and an honorary life member of the City & Guilds of London Institute, believes the diminishing value being placed on vocational learning in schools has the capacity to significantly undermine the value of practical, craft and professional learning at a young age.

“Our industry, ever changing and at the leading edge of new technologies, needs young people of the highest calibre if the UK is to compete globally in areas such as engineering, construction, building services and technology. This cannot be achieved if the future school curriculum does not have a focus on high quality vocational and professional options for young people.”