BPF (British Plastic Federation) president, Mike Boswell, welcomed Philip Law as director-general of the organization, with effect from July next year, at its 80th anniversary dinner on Friday.
The current public and industrial affairs director will replace Peter Davis, who is retiring.
In a speech to members, Boswell said the council needs to focus on four areas for the development of the plastics industry including availability of finance, secure and affordable energy, meeting skills needs and recovery in the construction and building sector.
Cogent Science Industry
He praised immediate past president Philip Watkins securing support for Cogent’s Science Industry partnership bid and said: “If the bid is successful I want to see the plastics industry directly benefit from increased support for traineeships and apprenticeships.”
Cogent is the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, nuclear, life sciences, petroleum and polymer industries.
The partnership will support the trade body in closing the gap on skills for the polymers industry, reducing job shortages and boosting careers in this sector.
Bottle blowing and composites
Cogent will have access to BPF’s research on the industry’s strengths and challenges and plastics employers in polymer sub-sectors from bottle blowing and composites to packaging and windows.
“This union is good news for the plastics industry since the BPF and Cogent will work together to address the skills issues and needs in our industry,” said Davis.
“Young people can have an excellent career in the plastics industry from shop floor roles to management positions. It is vital our industry trains its staff to realize their potential and also attracts the best young talent.”
Gold medal for service
On construction and finance, Boswell said in his speech that members have had a tough few years but the future is positive.
“We would like to see VAT reduced to 5% on ‘Green Deal’ products to stimulate take up. On finance, we are talking directly to banks about positively investing in our dynamic industry. But what has happened to the Government’s ‘Business Bank’ announced a year ago? It is supposed to be operational but I have heard very little about it,” he added.
At the dinner, Boswell presented its prestigious gold medal for services to the federation to Roger Mottram and Jason Leadbitter, both of Ineos ChlorVinyls.
“Both Roger and Jason richly deserve this award. They have unstintedly committed their time, energy and expertise in the service of the PVC industry through the British Plastics Federation. They have played a crucial and central role in positively developing the reputation of PVC products and the industry producing them,” he said.