Monday, 2 August 2010

Our Next Generation of Well-qualified Meteorologists

The last few weeks have been busy with travelling around the UK, but interesting. A few weeks ago we held our Student Conference at the Met Office so our student community could join with the Met Office’s early career scientists. Having a fair proportion of our next generation of meteorologists in one room together was very enjoyable and I was extremely impressed by the work that they were presenting. They are certainly a talented bunch. The conference held a lively debate on the pros and cons of geo-engineering and it’s clear that they are not only talented but passionate about the future of meteorology and how it is applied to some of our more serious problems. I very much came away with the sense that our subject is in safe hands.

Last week I also chaired a meeting of the UK’s sector committee for meteorology – that’s the group who represent the practitioner community in the UK, and specifically the development of qualification standards for the profession. In includes the Society, the Royal Navy, the Met Office and the private sector. We spent our time focusing on the development of new vocational qualifications for meteorology. There is something called the Qualifications and Curriculum Framework in the UK which defines various levels of vocational qualifications and we spent our day mapping our standards into this new framework. It was very enjoyable to come together as a community to ensure all our forecasters in the UK have the opportunity to develop their skills and competencies through high-quality, independently-recognised vocational qualifications. What I am always impress by is that the members of the group, who have very busy workloads, give up their time freely and voluntarily to undertake this work for the good of the profession and its future development.

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