There a number of highlights to look back on over the last year worthy of note, in what has been an exciting year for the ICTa. Of particular note was the highly successful UK study tour which was attended by 23 people several different member companies. It was the first such study tour since 2007 and an extremely interesting and educational tour was arranged. It was truly inspiring to see some of the best of UK ceramic manufacturing. It was encouraging to see newer ICTa members on the tour, which will no doubt reap the benefits of this tour for many years to come. Many thanks to the organisers in particular Peter Ellam, Paula Wardle and Chris Hallas for a huge effort behind the scenes to put his tour together.
Membership has increased to 410 this year, but 120 of these have not yet paid their 2015 subscription, a small price to pay for the facilities available to members. Some of the increase is down to level 2 & 3 students who are members in order to take the exam. I would strongly encourage those new members to seek out the other opportunities for personal development within the ICTa, either via your local branch or the ICTa national organisers whose contact details are published on the ICTa website. I am sure it is a good investment in their employee’s future with their company.
Yorkshire, Lancashire, Notts and Derby, North Staffs, and West Midlands are all active and have enjoyed good programmes of events, but all societies would benefit from more support with attendances at meetings and people willing to take on committee roles. Without this vital support the local societies will wither. London and the Home Counties and the East Midlands societies in particular are under threat and it is my hope is a way can be found to revive these branches in a way. It is after all the branch activity that provides much of the bedrock of ICTa support. Many thanks to the committees of the local branches who put on such a wide and varied range of events for their members.
Once again the ICTa Education and Training Operating committee has done an enormous amount of work to give members some fantastic opportunities. It particular it is fantastic to see not only a strong participation of the level 2, 3 but good pass rates. Also this year a phenomenal amount of voluntary work has gone into progressing the foundation degree to near completion. My thanks to all those who have contributed to this, who prove the maxim ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. The result will be a qualification of an extremely high standard which is a credit to our industry. This committee continues to do an amazing job on a whole range of educational and training opportunities for our members and on their behalf I would like to say an enormous thanks to Paula Wardle and her team.
The ICT Education and Training Trust sponsorship continues to support the Foundation Degree/Higher Apprenticeship and the ICTa is grateful for this, without which the aspirations of the Education and Training Operating committee would not be achieved
This year the Clay Tech theme is “Technical Matters.” As usual we have an excellent line up of speakers, suppliers and a good turnout of guests registered for an event that continues to go from strength to strength. Topics this year will cover all aspects of heavy clay manufacture and it promises to be a hugely relevant and interesting day for all.
It is my final year as chairman and it has been a huge honour to represent the ICTa organisation during this time. Particular thanks to Mike Chapman who has helped me so much in my duties in his capacity as Honorary General Secretary.