Principal’s Blog: Interview with John Savage, NFPC
Interview with John Savage, NFPC
In this week’s blog we introduce the first interview with a member of the RNN Group. We begin with John Savage, Director of the National Fluid Power Centre (NPFC) in Worksop:
JA: Tell us all about you, John, before the NFPC began.
JS: Well, I became a Mechanical Apprentice with the National Coal Board in 1962 and gained the Qualification as a Mining Mechanical Engineer. I then spent some 10 years working underground at various Collieries within the South Yorkshire Area before becoming a Project Engineer at the NCB HQ at Wath-on-Dearne. Following this, I joined the Mining Engineering Dept at NNC in 1974. By 1979 the Mining Industry was in decline, so I established the North Notts Fluid Power Centre, based at Langold and began the journey of specialist training for Industry. This carried on through the 80s and in 1992, I was appointed Programme Manager for Engineering at NNC and for a number of years ran both Engineering and Fluid Power. In 1996 I was appointed Director of Fluid Power and eventually Director of the NFPC.
JA: What is the NFPC all about?
JS: The NFPC is the UKs Flagship and leading provider of specialist short courses involving Hydraulics, Electro-Pneumatics and Applied Electronics (ISE). We serve some 27 Sectors of UL Industry and we are instrumental in improving the knowledge and skills of the UK workforce.
JA: How has the NFPC created partnerships with such an impressive group of well know national and international brands and organisations?
JS: In 1987, the Advisory & Strategic Planning Group was formed by working closely with Companies around the Worksop Area, identifying training needs and at the same time delivering their specific courses. Year on year this has grown as I invited more and more OEMs and end users to join. This has now reached a level of some 55 companies who work to develop the NFPC, support its courses and work closely to develop the Centre resources.
JA: What is the secret to maintaining great relationships with all of your partners?
JS: It starts with professional integrity, maintaining contact, having regular advisory meetings, getting them to see the NFPC as an extension of their business and through the “Terms of Reference” and our “4 Point plan”, they can see the benefit of playing an active role in developing the Centre and providing Mentorship for the Staff; I like to keep them involved at all times.
JA: How does the NFPC stay relevant in the constantly evolving world of business and integrated systems engineering?
JS: We do this through three ways; firstly, through the support of the Advisory Group, secondly by listening to the needs of our customers and lastly having a dynamic team of Training Engineers from UK Industry who have experience involving the maintenance and management of ISE and are driven to continually improve their performance and that of the NFPC Services to Industry
JA: What one piece of advice would you give to a learner leaving the RNN Group to begin their career or indeed any person moving into a new career?
JS: I would say, seize every opportunity to learn and advance your knowledge and skills and you will stay in demand.
JA: And finally, what is your favourite quote and why?
JS: “Engineers are Wealth Creators” – every aspect of modern life depends upon the expert, knowledge and skills of Engineers!