Skills and training the focus for new CIWM President

Newly appointed 104th President of the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM), Trevor Nicoll, has highlighted the importance of supporting skills and professional development for both current and future professionals across the resources and waste sector.

Speaking at his inauguration speech yesterday (12 November) at the Downing College Guildhall in Cambridge, Nicoll explained that, with the core resources and waste sector employing over 150,000 people and more than 600,000 jobs anticipated in the wider circular economy by 2030, attracting new talent into the sector is essential.

“We need to ask the next generation some questions,” Nicoll said. “Will you be part of a sector that has so much to contribute to building a more sustainable and healthy future? Will you be part of a sector that will manage the valuable resources in our waste to protect our landscapes and our oceans? Would you like to be part of a bigger family that has a really important task ahead to help tackle climate change and reduce marine plastics pollution? Will you help to create a more circular economy to reduce consumption of the earth’s finite resources?”

Outlining what action CIWM would be taking to support future workers in the sector, Nicoll launched his Presidential Report, a new Green Careers Toolkit developed to inspire students in secondary schools and colleges by showcasing the range, relevance and diversity of jobs in the sector.

Trevor Nicoll, CIWM President
Trevor Nicoll, CIWM President
Developed for CIWM by Global Action Plan, the Green Careers toolkit includes career profiles, information on the sector and the key policies that are shaping it, teaching and learning activities for teachers, and specific curriculum links to subjects including Science, Geography and Business Studies.

The toolkit will be one of the first resources to be hosted on a new teacher platform called ‘Transform Our World’. Launching in January 2020, this free online resource hub aims to support teachers in bringing environmental action into the classroom.

Each CIWM President launches a Presidential Report, which focuses on their priorities for their presidency. Last year’s President, Enda Kiernan, looked at the risks of Brexit on exports of refuse-derived fuel (RDF), while Professor David Wilson, who was appointed in 2017, focused his on community-based resource management and increased levels of international development finance to address health and environmental challenges in low- and middle-income countries.

Commenting on the toolkit, Luke Wynne, Head of Youth and Schools at Global Action Plan said: “It has been great to work with CIWM and explore the different green career opportunities within the Waste and Resource Management industry. We're excited to have created a resource that aims to encourage young people from across the country to understand the opportunities available to them to pursue a career with purpose in this sector.”

Professional training

After announcing the Green Careers Toolkit, Nicoll went on to outline CIWM’s work to develop a Framework of Professional Standards to provide structured and targeted support to CIWM members working in the sector today.

With the support of industry experts, the framework aims to help workers meet their professional development goals, address skills gaps and progress through the stages of CIWM membership to Chartered and Fellow grades.

“The Framework covers the knowledge, skills and behaviours that CIWM expects to see at four core levels of a resource and waste professionals’ career and this work has led us to the development of a new digital tool called ‘CIWM Aspire’, which will be launched in Spring 2020,” Nicoll explained.

He added: “Based on the competences used to assess Chartered Waste Managers, the framework outlines the core sector knowledge and essential business skills that individuals need. By comparing their current knowledge and skills with the Framework, the digital platform will help CIWM Members to evaluate their career to date and offer learning opportunities for the future. This will enable our members to demonstrate their competence and knowledge, make a real difference in the sector and seize future opportunities.”

CIWM’s 2019/20 goals

Nicoll is taking over the presidential position from Enda Kiernan, who will continue to support as part of the 2019/20 CIWM presidential team.

Nicoll has a wealth of experience in municipal waste management – he is currently Assistant Director for Waste and Special Projects at Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils, and previously worked as Head of Recycling, Waste and Fleet Services at Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council.

He will be supported by the presidential team that includes Senior Vice-President Adam Read, Junior Vice-President Anna Willetts and CIWM Honorary Treasurer John Kutner. In a bid to ‘streamline’ decision-making, CIWM has also chosen to reduce its number of trustees from 27 to seven.

In welcoming the new CIWM Trustee Board, Nicoll outlined the strategic goals for CIWM during his term of office. They include:

  • Building and enhancing the status and reputation of the waste and resources profession;
  • Supporting and growing our membership while also encouraging and educating future generations of waste and resource managers; and
  • Ensuring the standard and competence of our members is world class.

“I believe that this year will be a crucial for the sector with the development of the new Resources and Waste Strategy in England and with the greater focus on the circular economy and the environment across all nations,” he concluded.

CIWM has undergone major restructuring over the past two years, with a new business plan set in motion in October 2018 to help the company regain financial stability after operating at a net deficit of £223,000 in 2017. However, the organisation has recovered, trading profitably through 2018, and it is expected to break even by the end of 2019.

You can learn more about the CIWM, including the Green Careers Toolkit, on the CIWM website.

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