Young graduated students rarely explicitly choose to work in the pipeline industry. This issue had been addressed by Dr Phil Hopkins at the Pipeline Integrity Management Forum in London in 2015 and also at the Pipeline Maintenance and Integrity Event in Amsterdam in 2016, where I have been discussing pipeline education & ways to attract youth into the pipeline industry. The General conclusions I had from these interactions is that our industry is not sexy. Now the question remains: what can we do to attract young people to the pipeline industry?
Looking at the importance of pipelines across the European (crossborder) energy market, especially with the challenges we are facing with ageing assets and the transition into renewable energy, there definitely is a need for transfer of knowledge from senior pipeliners to younger pipeliners. At the same time the industry can also use the fresh views and ideas from the younger generation.
There are currently 4 regions that have a Young Pipeliners Association (YPA) or similar: Canada, US, Brazil and Australia. It is quite strange that Europe doesn’t have a forum for young pipeliners to get together and to organise events where they learn from each other and have fun. The Dutch Pipeline Industry Guilder and Pipeliner Foundation are jointly stimulating a number of Dutch young professionals to establish a European YPA – for which the first workshop will be organized in November 2017.
I would greatly appreciate to be awarded a timeslot for the youngsters to represent themselves and seek for input, sponsors, cooperations etc from the industry.