Although called the British Coatings Federation, The Coatings Training Institute has considerable reach outside the shores of our little islands, due in part to the international standing of some of the company members.
When one of Akzo Nobel’s analytical chemists based in Louisville, Kentucky, approached his manager with the thought that some training in the paint and ink industry might be useful, the company plumped for The Coatings Training Institute’s foundation module immediately.
Ken works in a laboratory as a chemist, examining and measuring the properties of coatings, so the immediate thought is that such a module might be a bit simplistic for him. Actually, not so…
“I thought it would be good to get an overall picture of the industry and its products, and while some of the material was familiar to me, there was a lot that was very useful,” he explains. “For example, I had never studied polymers before and until I did this course, I hadn’t realised that the coatings industry includes inks as well as paints. This was a surprise – and very much why I did the module: to find out what I didn’t know!”
Because of this, Ken feels that the course very much lived up to his expectations. Beyond that, he found enjoyment and a lot of interest in elements such as the practical lab work, and he is now looking at what other modules he could do in the future.
“Would I recommend The Coatings Training Institute training modules? Yes, I think I would. I suspect that most of my colleagues have covered the particular general module I took, but for someone like me – a chemist – it was very useful. I’m sure everyone can find useful modules there. “It’s hard to say if this has or will further my career particularly, but it’s always nice to have something a little extra on your CV.”
Which goes to show that career paths are made of much the same stuff on both sides of the Atlantic.