The President’s Address, The Founder’s Inspiration
Promoting the Classic Engineering Industry through networking, knowledge-sharing, training and education
Tony Southgate (President)
Welcome to the International Guild of Specialist Engineers
I was very pleased to become The International Guild’s President, when founder Michael Scott offered me the opportunity. My views and sympathies towards British craftsmen and engineers, the unsung heroes of the industry, are parallel to Michael’s and I share his enthusiasm for the idea of creating more apprenticeships to maintain Britain’s dominance in the field of motor sport, racing and classic car restoration and maintenance.
I have spent many years endeavouring to improve the image of “The Engineer”, in this country, to the eyes of the non-engineering sector, with modest success. We are making headway, but slowly.
Back in the late 1950s I was part of the old school of engineering apprenticeship schemes, where a very comprehensive 5-year training would be received in all the relevant principal matters. My apprenticeship certainly helped me to move into the world of motor racing with the confidence that I could cope with most engineering problems which might be thrown at me.
It was an expensive system to run but the companies could justify this with the knowledge that at the end of the process, they would have access to a new breed of engineer, train and qualified to help them progress. Foreign competition forced many of these companies to abandon these schemes in order to cut costs and become more efficient. As a result, apprenticeships became rarer to find and fewer qualified British engineers. A new initiative to change the current situation can only be welcome.
We have the task of explaining to those outside the industry that qualified engineers help generate money and wealth for this country, supporting the manufacturing industry for which the UK is famous.
Tony Southgate, The International Guild President
The Guild represents and supports specialist engineers, businesses and service providers in the motorised historic and classic transport industry
The first scheme in the UK specifically devised for young people who wish to gain theoretical and practical knowledge in the classic car industry. More…