Engineers want a voice
Barbadian engineers want to be heard. Barbados Association of Professional Engineers (BAPE) president Greg Parris was disappointed that his organization was unable to meet with the Minister of Transport and Works over the past year to discuss issues engineers thought were pertinent.
He made the concern public in BAPE’s recently-released annual report and accounts for the year ended June 2013.
“BAPE requested to meet with the Minister of Transport and Works to discuss concerns of the association. Unfortunately, the minister never replied to our request,” Parris said in his report.
“Some of the more pressing issues that we needed to discuss included the status of making the amended Barbados Building Code a legal document, proposed revisions to the Engineers Registration Act and the possible assistance of BAPE to provide advice on national projects,” he added.
The official was also displeased about BAPE’s public profile, specifically its insufficient public sensitization.
“Although there were a few media appearances during the year, these were insufficient and the new executive will have to review ways of promoting the profession. Some ideas have been discussed at council meetings, however, it is now time to act to ensure that the public and the media not only understand what we do but respect the work that we do,” he said.
Parris pointed out that when he was elected his goals were to promote continuing professional development, establish a mentorship programme for student and graduate engineers, and to sensitise the public about the role of the engineer in society.
Reporting on the mentorship programme, he said: “A terms of reference for the mentorship programme was disseminated to all of our members last year. The aim of the programme is to be a powerful personal development and empowerment tool. Mentoring is an effective way of helping the students and graduates to progress their careers. It is a partnership built on spending time, sharing knowledge, insights, ideas and experiences.”
Up to the time of writing his report, Parris said eleven corporate members had volunteered to be mentors. He wanted this total to increase “to assist as many students and graduates as possible”. In accordance with the terms of reference two people were assigned to each mentor.
Parris said BAPE’s important role also saw it working with the Barbados Coalition of Service industries on a number of initiatives, including helping some of the association’s members to acquire the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design designation at a subsidized cost, and participating in the Green Business Bus Tour which visited energy efficient businesses. This was in addition to developing a National Services Sector Development Strategy for Barbados.
Noting that BAPE was “often called on to participate in meetings and consultations on a variety of issues of national interest”, the president called for more active participation by all members so the association could meet the increasing demands on its resources. (SC)