The World Plumbing Council (WPC) recently announced that Phil Campbell of Las Vegas, was awarded its 2006 Trainers Scholarship worth $7,500. Open to plumbing trainers, in any sector of education across the world, the scholarship demands a very high standard from entrants and offers the winner the opportunity to visit a country of his or her choice to study plumbing practice and standards.
Campbell is a plumbing code instructor and training coordinator for WPC member organization the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 525 and he chose the United Kingdom for his study visit.
“A lot of thought went into where I proposed to go,” he says, “and the mutual language was an important factor. I also wanted to see how products that come to the USA from the UK are designed and under what parameters.” A further consideration was the highly regarded reputation of the UK’s training and apprenticeship systems, which he wanted to compare with those in the USA.
Previous winners of the scholarship have included John Smartt from the Republic of Ireland and Arnold Iru from the Solomon Islands who used the award to visit the USA and Australia, respectively.
One of the functions of the Trainers Scholarship is to allow WPC to establish a database of plumbing skills and training practices. In this way, the Council will be able to respond readily to requests for advice from trainers and training establishments across the world. Phil Campbell will submit his report to sit alongside those of past winners.
The next scholarship, worth $10,000, will be awarded in August 2007 with applications due by June 30. Further details are available at www.worldplumbing.org.
In addition, the WPC has recently agreed to a World Health Organization (WHO) request for a plumbing industry representative to be seconded to its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. John McBride, formerly with the Plumbing Industry Commission in Australia, has been identified as a suitably qualified candidate and he will start his two-year assignment early in 2007, when he will be helping WHO to establish good plumbing practice across the world. The project is being funded by WPC and its member organizations.
WPC has also applied to WHO for recognition as a Non Governmental Organization (NGO). Such recognition would mean the council being recognized by WHO as a credible non-commercial global authority and part of WHO’s consultation process. In turn, it is anticipated that the global public perception of plumbing and its operatives will be enhanced, while WPC will also be able to offer ease of access to an international plumbing knowledge base.