Odendaal, N. (2006, May 06). Control Valves Industry Needs More Skills Training. Engineering News. Retrieved May 06, 2011 from http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/industry-needs-skills-upgrades-2011-05-06
In this article, the author talked about how the control valve industry needs more training. According to the author, Caryn Darley, high level engineering and technical employment agency Enshrine Placements consultant, said South Africa companies were looking for workers who had experience and technical skills in the control valve industry. He mentioned that the valve industries required the workers to have industrial control and instrumentation skills. Also, he said the skills were needed in sales to provide solutions for challenges in the industry. According to the author, the valves industries were more electronically oriented, so the concentration was on electrical knowledge. Also, he said this career required people to have a degree with specialization in the instrumentation engineering field. According to the author, Philip Tempel, Enshrine Placements client, said that the result was that a number of young students who did not have enough experience with the field of control were challenging for them to get the experience needed for field measurements and final control elements (valves). The author mentioned that the valves industries have intelligent devices and digital communication capability, and systems were built with digital processors, so the students had to be skilled to understand the processes. According to the author, Tempel said that the ability to use the machinery did not mean that the operator fully understood how it operated. The author said technicians in the control valves industries needed solid exposure to turn the knowledge into practice, and this was besides electrical, instrumentation and computer knowledge. Also, he said they needed the ability to open a valve and repair it, the ability to know how the machine operates and the ability to know the valves size for the flow and the pressure were expected to tolerate. Moreover, they have to know about control elements, control valves, actuators and variable-speed drives that did not work any longer. The author mentioned that students are trained in the field by being placed with companies to facilitate learning and gain practical experience. However, some companies decreased the training for employment because of limited resources. According to the author, Tempel noticed that some leaders in the industry felt some universities and tertiary institutions were not providing industry with enough technical people with the requisite skills, so industry leaders should make a strategy for providing useful training to decrease the skills gap, and they must encourage the study of engineering majors such as the electrical, instrumentation and mechanical.
I enjoyed reading this article, because it talks about some problems that the students found after graduating from their colleges and universities. Many students graduated from their schools with a good degree such as a bachelor’s degree in electrical, mechanical, or instrumentation engineering, but they do not have enough knowledge or experience about what they are going to deal with in the industry or in any field. I know many students who graduated with me from my college, but they do not have any idea about what they are going to do in real life, not in academic life. They do not know that any small mistake in petrochemical industries or oil industries will cost their life, and this is a mistake because they do not know how to deal with dangerous machines. In Saudi Arabia, many oil companies provide training courses to let the new workers or the students gain experience about what they are going to do and what they are going to deal with, but that sometimes does not work if the students do not care, because some students feel neglected when they got a job. They become careless because they think that they are on the safe side. Therefore, the companies must encourage them to make them more responsible. One time, my cousin told me a story about one person who worked with him in the petrochemical industry. That person wanted to fix something that was made of glass. That thing was a gauge. The person wanted to fix the gauge and he did not know how to fix it, so he used a hammer to fix the gauge. Unfortunately, he broke the gauge. So, when I think about that person, I say, “What he was thinking about? How did he want to fix that gauge with a hammer?” Therefore, I think the universities and the companies must take care of those students because those students will be the future of our countries.