Following approval by UK regulatory authorities, the Packaging Industry Awarding Body Company (PiABC) has been formally launched in an attempt "to drive forward excellence in education and training throughout the industry".
According to the organisers the new awarding body will be dedicated to developing and accrediting qualifications for the UK packaging industry and will also be responsible for accrediting centres for the delivery of approved learning for the packaging sector in the UK and overseas.
An early move by PiABC is to offer corporate memberships to all companies in the UK packaging industry in order to ensure that packaging businesses play a full part in shaping the pattern of training and education to meet their current and future needs. This approach will also bring the benefits of access to the Government's central decision-making process in vocational training and education.
The work of the body will be driven forward by Fred Hoyland, its chief executive from PiABC Headquarters at The Institute of Packaging in Melton Mowbray.
Announcing the launch, Hoyland said: "This is a truly momentous and exciting day for the packaging industry. We now have one body with one voice to develop and drive forward the education and training of this vital sector to the benefit of all the companies, the packaging professionals they employ and the profitability of UK industry.
"I urge all companies to consider becoming Corporate Members of PiABC to shape the future of our industry, to influence government and to draw down vital funding for workforce development."
A board has also been appointed to oversee and guide all aspects of the Awarding Body's activities. Chaired by Linda purser, executive director of Milton Keynes Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Learning and Skills Council, the board consists of high level industry representatives from LinPac Plastics, Sainsburys, Glaxo Smith Kline,PPMA and Avro Industries together with representation from educational, packaging and institutional bodies.
The inaugural board meeting was held on May 16th at the offices of SEMTA, the Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance, a Sector Skills Council on which the Institute represents the Packaging Industry and clear remits were developed to drive the Awarding Body forward with the minimum of delay. Board meetings will continue on a quarterly basis, which the organisers say may benefit from further industry representation.
For further information on the PiABC, contact Hannah Georg at firstname.lastname@example.org