BESA introduces new support network for young engineers


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BESA launches dedicated group to support young engineers

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has initiated a new network aimed at supporting young engineers and new entrants in the building services sector.

Named the BESA NextGen network, this initiative replaces the previously established ‘Future Leaders’ group, formed in 2017 to support promising young professionals within the industry.

The newly formed network broadens its focus, offering technical knowledge, career support, and networking opportunities, not just to young engineers but also to those in non-engineering roles within the sector.

Goals and objectives of the NextGen network

According to BESA, the network is open to both members and non-members, facilitating a more inclusive environment for professional growth and development.

Ryan Walton, the first chair of the NextGen network and a specification engineer at Panasonic Heating and Cooling, commented on the new initiative: “It is a real honour and a great opportunity to work with my fellow young engineers through this exciting initiative.

“We have a lot to offer the Association and the wider industry, but it is often hard for us to make our collective voice heard.”

Challenges and opportunities

Walton further noted the difficulties young professionals face in the industry, particularly when networking with more seasoned engineers: “It can also be an intimidating experience for younger people to network with older, more experienced engineers, particularly when they are just finding their feet in the industry.

“So, we believe having our own community will help us develop our own priorities and then use BESA’s established and respected platform to help shape the industry’s agenda,” he said.

Strategic importance of the NextGen network

The creation of the NextGen network is part of BESA’s strategic initiative during its 120th anniversary year, aiming to empower younger members to drive innovation, particularly in digital technologies.

BESA also hopes the network will promote a culture change within building services firms, attracting diverse talents necessary for future challenges.

Graeme Fox, BESA’s technical director, highlighted the importance of networking within the industry: “Business relationships are all about networking – developing connections and friendships which are crucial to making the construction industry work.

“The BESA Next Gen network is a critical pathway to creating those connections for people still relatively new to the sector.”

Future plans and initiatives

The network has already started influencing the content for this year’s BESA Annual Conference scheduled for October 17 in London.

Young members will host their own panel discussion and participate in several sessions, reflecting their views and priorities.

IFSJ Comment

The introduction of the BESA NextGen network represents a thoughtful approach towards integrating young professionals into the building services industry.

By providing a platform for growth and expression, BESA is nurturing future industry leaders and ensuring the sector remains vibrant and responsive to technological advancements and cultural shifts.

This initiative also highlights the importance of inclusivity and mentorship within professional communities, fostering a collaborative environment that is crucial for both personal and industry-wide development.

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