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Time for pastures new

13 October, 2019

And Gambica, being a relatively small organisation, means that we know our members, on a company level and an individual level. This means that Gambica is truly a member-led organisation. Like all trade associations, we have a board, comprised of representatives from member companies, and they will set the agenda for the association at a high level. But all of our members have a say on the association activities, by joining the sector council and special interest groups. Equally, an emailed enquiry from a member can, and has, led to new services being offered to the membership. 

Gambica would not exist without its members, literally of course, but also figuratively. Those who come to meetings, get involved, share knowledge, send emails and are part of the community ARE Gambica. 

As I leave not only Gambica, but the industrial automation sector, I hope that I leave the sector in a slightly better shape than when I arrived. Measure my success however you will. There are still a number of challenges the sector faces. The one that concerns me the most is that our membership seem to be an ageing population. More people are retiring than coming in.

The same is true for engineering as a whole. The sector needs to really think about how it can make itself a more attractive prospect as a career. I feel in particular that the industry needs to think about how to encourage under-represented groups into the sector and creating an environment where everyone will thrive. This probably means shedding some things from the past. 

Overall though, I am gratified that the feeling towards automation by media and government appears to be a lot more positive than when I started. The message about industrial automation’s importance for a strong economy and healthy job market hasn’t prevailed yet, but seems to be breaking through. 

As I bring this bit of schmaltz to a close, can I take this opportunity to thank Drives & Controls for letting me share my thoughts once a month, you for reading, and to those of you who have got in touch about something I have written, and especially to the whole Gambica community, for making these 3½ years so enjoyable.

Finally, if I were to offer my successor one bit of advice it will be this: when you go to Drives & Control’s show in April 2020, wear comfortable shoes! 

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