ECITB Board welcomes new Regional Chairs

ECITB Board welcomes new Regional Chairs

The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board(ECITB) has welcomed the appointment of three new Regional Chairs to its Board. The three new Chairs: James Hall (3sun Academy, part of 3sun Group), Kevin Benson (Alstom UK) and Paul Bunyan (C&P Engineering Services) will take up their positions for the ECITB South and East Region, Midlands Region and Wales and the South West Region respectively.

The appointments come at an important time of growth and development for the ECITB. The ECITB, a Non-Departmental Public Body, has a statutory responsibility to develop and secure the UK’s future engineering construction workforce. The ECITB works together with industry and government setting industry-wide standards, providing guidance, advice and practical skills and training support to employers across many vital infrastructure sectors, including energy, chemicals, process industry and food and drink. It plays a key role in driving collective and collaborative solutions at industry and regional levels, helping companies to meet skills and resourcing needs in cost effective, efficient and sustainable ways through a sustainable skills investment fund enabled through the industrial training levy.

Andy Brown, ECITB director of Regional Operations welcomed the new Regional Board members, and said:

“As an industry-led body, it is very important for the ECITB to have access to this industry expertise and input from client and contractor companies across the regions. The new Regional Chairs are each well placed to contribute regional and local business understanding, knowledge and relationships, to assist the ECITB in its work supporting industry and the ECI skills agenda. It is great to have James, Paul and Kevin on board. We thank the outgoing Chairs for their contribution and we look forward to further new appointments later in the year in other regions.”

James Hall

James Hall, operations manager for 3sun Academy (part of 3sun Group) has over 25 years_ experience within the Offshore and Construction Engineering industry. As operations manager for 3sun Academy James has delivered business growth through the implementation of high quality and cost effective training. Hall sees his new role as chair of the ECITB South East and East Region as a great opportunity to influence policy at the centre. Commenting on his new role, Hall said:

“As well as representing the interests of regional employers at ECITB board level and providing invaluable insight into regional industry skills issues and resourcing in general it is also my aim to focus on helping the region to meet its priorities. I would like to help achieve collaboration with as many member companies as possible in order to drive efficiency and maximise the number of people being trained.”

This is very much in line with the ECITB’s achievements over the last few years in providing cost effective collective industry based solutions. Hall is also keen to optimise the deployment of grant funding over as many training and vocational programs as possible.

Kevin Benson, funding competency manager, for Alstom UK takes up his new role as Regional Chair for the Midlands Region. Kevin has worked in the field of Learning and Development for over 18 years during which time he has developed his passion and understanding of occupational psychology to benefit the improvement of employee skills and competencies within the engineering sector. Throughout his career he has focused on developing competency frameworks and career pathway models and building enhanced apprenticeship and graduate programmes to encourage those leaving education to join the effervescent UK engineering sector.

Kevin has worked closely with the ECITB over the last 8 years on a number of projects including enhancement of the Supervisory Management Training and Development (SMTD) and Charge Hand programmes. Kevin believes that the ECITB holds a critical position and responsibility in encouraging people to join as well as in developing and retaining skills within the engineering construction industry sector.

Kevin Benson commented:

Kevin Benson Alstom

“In current times when the development of employees’ skills and competencies has become ever more important to the progress our industry is making, the collaboration of employers within the Midlands region is imperative to the development of their own staff, both onsite and in supporting functions. These are exciting times to be involved with the ECITB at both a regional and board level as the UK skills shortage and demands from other sectors provides us with a challenge not only to develop but also enhance and retain those skills with the UK engineering construction industry. This is a challenge I am looking forward to acting upon over the coming years.”

Paul Bunyan, the ECITB’s new Wales and South West Region Chair has over 30 years engineering and construction experience within the oil, gas, chemical, petrochemical, power generation, steel and heavy engineering industries. He commenced his career as an apprentice instrument mechanic, working at BP Oil Llandarcy Refinery Ltd. Bunyan then joined C&P Engineering Services Ltd in 1985 as an instrument technician, which was the start of his career in electrical and instrumentation engineering and construction. Over the last twenty years he has worked in various roles within the firm and across a broad range of heavy engineering industries, including BP Oil, BP Chemicals, CEGB and St.Regis Paper. In 1990 he became Project Engineering Director and held the position until he was appointed Managing Director of C&P Engineering Services in 2010. As Managing Director he has lead, facilitated, promoted and governed a varied range of strategic operations and initiatives that have led to successful growth, internationalisation of the business and the learning and development of C&P Engineering Services, as an organisation.

Paul Bunyan commented:

Paul Bunyan

“Our success and survival as an engineering region depends upon the quality and competency of a skilled and available workforce. I am honoured to be appointed Chair of Wales and the South West of England and I’m looking forward to working with and representing regional employers in order to direct regional activities, influence policy at board level to meet regional priorities, and report on industry skill and manning issues in general. The Levy Model enables us as an engineering construction region to train, develop and sustain engineering talent now and into the future. We can through a collaborative and collective approach increase prosperity within the engineering economy, build a sustainable future and create the leaders of tomorrow.”