SPED - December 2010 - SPED in the UK & Ireland
I interview for the Fellowship grade of the IMechE. A recent candidate with a college training background commented that the American system is much more vocation orientated than the UK. Ally this to academic research a few years back which determined that German managers aspire to be the leading expert in their group and UK manager to be a generalist and motivator. Any US corporate member got good German contacts? We may do well in Germany with the correct introductions.
December is always a slow month in the UK. Sometimes it hangs over into the New Year as departmental budgets have not been finalised. And this month Ireland has suffered the severest of economic cutbacks and faces a General Election in January as a result, not a great climate to encourage spending.
The UK has had a severe early winter storm with temperatures at 20F and 0F in many places with our transport infrastructure dislocated.
Hopefully Christmas will cheer us all up. I believe that it will be so for me as my American lady will be joining me for a holiday in Spain, where the current temperature is a balmy 60F.
UK Process News
Primarily European based operators such as Shell and BASF have led with good third quarter results for the Oil & Gas sector. We must hope that it begins to reflect increased activity in contracting.
I read in the latest issue of CCS Journal that the US has enough potential storage space for carbon to last 5,700 years (you always do things BIG). But like the UK is who is going to build the infrastructure? I also saw a patriotic advert for American coal in an airline magazine. When it comes to building infrastructure, the UK Government continues to favour rail transport and wind power generation.
The UK Government decided to avoid reducing its commitment to the process industry in otherwise severe cuts to balance the UK budget. Apprenticeships are being actively encouraged across the whole of industry. Far better than encouraging the further take up of “soft” degrees in culture and business studies. But the Carbon Reduction Scheme which used to reward high reducing companies is now converting to a hard to comprehend business tax on all of our industry. Expect unintended consequences.
There were unintended consequences when the economic pace of biomass was forced - on grain prices for the third world and now the European woodworking industry would you believe!
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