|CoE presents recommendations to Prime Minister and Opposition Leader|
The Chamber of Engineers recently met with both Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and Leader of the Opposition Joseph Muscat during separate meetings, in order to present the Chamber’s recommendations for both parties’ electoral programmes.
The Chamber stated that The Engineering Act, which regulates the profession, needs updating to reflect today's circumstances. A Council sub-committee is working on a draft update of the Act. Salient points will include obligatory continuous professional development for engineers, professional indemnity insurance for all engineers and streamlining of the definition and duties of the engineer.
Engineers' supporting technicians should also be obliged to undergo continuous technical updating on the subject matter of their respective competences.
The Chamber stated that engineers would be pleased to assist government and society at large to make the best use of technology in various areas. The Chamber believes that this can be achieved by regulating engineering systems. Such regulation should be in place at conceptual stages and not as an afterthought.
It was remarked that green technology schemes should be devised to not only benefit government to reach stipulated EU objectives, but should also better protect the consumer who is sometimes driven into buying technology which is not up to acceptable standard.
On the issue of education, the CoE stressed that quality within the educational system should be given more importance. It was recommended that the first level of quality control should be carried out within the educational institutions itself. This should be accompanied by seeking to attain a second level of quality benchmark by acquiring accreditation from well established institutions.
It was also recommended that the vocational educational system should be better defined and closely monitored. It also believes that it should be standard practice for higher educational institutions to make a detailed syllabus readily available to prospective students so that they would be informed about what they are going to follow during their formation.
The Chamber emphasised that more effort is required to attract high technology and engineering industries. Such industries are normally associated with more long-term high-value added jobs and generate a higher rate of economic activity and growth.
Research & Innovation
The Chamber was pleased to note the success being achieved by engineers involved in research and development. So far research has generally been associated with academia. CoE believes that this scope should be widened to include industry. This would facilitate eventual commercialisation of developments. Every effort should be made to make research in industry more attractive to the entrepreneur. In this regard the Chamber encouraged the setting up of technical support centres made up of engineers from various disciplines together with other supporting professionals to engage and support the smaller industries and businesses which do not afford their own R&I facilities.
Socio Economic Development
The Chamber believes that representation of the Chamber on technical authorities, boards and committees is essential for government to benefit directly from the knowledge and expertise of the Chamber representatives.
Involving the Chamber in the early stages of the planning process (at drawing board stage) rather than at later consultation stages when things are already a fait accompli, puts the Chamber in a better position to support technological and environmental initiatives, especially those requiring widespread support by the general public.
The Chamber recommends that government should maximise on the investment being made in educating and training engineers. Evidently not enough is being done to attract engineers and to empower them to take higher responsible roles.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 07:19|