The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) has elected Melville Gumbs as its national president at an online Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Held via Zoom, the virtual AGM united CIPHE members from around the globe – from the UK to Hong Kong, a statement said. Dr Henry Hung was also elected as vice president.
Melville has been a member of the CIPHE for 44 years and joined the Surrey branch committee 15 years ago.
He said: “In the space of four months, life across the world has changed. We have all had to adapt to a different way of life, queuing to get food, medicine and even to get plumbing materials – two people in the shop, is this the future? Plumbers are looking for leadership and I am delighted that the CIPHE has taken a lead.
“The future of plumbing is moving and changing at a very fast pace. We have moved from open vented to pressurised plumbing and heating systems. New change is coming with the end of carbon fossil fuels to greener solutions. Our homes are going to need a dedicated plant room to house cylinders, buffer tanks, plate heat exchangers, along with mains fed pumps to boost pressure and all the different pipework required.
“This means a massive rethink about our knowledge and skill levels. We have to be prepared to access training through manufacturers, training companies, and bodies such as the Institute, which is a leading light in the industry, to get more professional plumbers and heating engineers. It is up to us at the coalface to put our head above the parapet and push for registration of all plumbers, to show the young people coming into the industry that there is a goal to work towards to be a designer, installer and engineer. Plumbers are special – this is a golden opportunity to reach out to all the young people of this land to grasp the future. Compulsory registration and better training is a must in the UK, similar to licensed plumbers in Hong Kong.”