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I am encouraged by the first responses I have received from our members who want to join this committee. We also plan to organize a se- ries of webinars to provide members with in- creased value-added information, services, and opportunities, such as engaging directly with policymakers. Mitchell: What are the biggest concerns you've noticed among IPC Europe's members? What has IPC been doing to address those concerns? Robin: My exchanges with our members indi- cate that a major concern for the European in- dustry is a skilled workforce shortage. Many members have experienced difficulties recruit- ing skilled employees and attracting young people. IPC fills the needs of its members in this area through its network of training cen- ters and online training opportunities. The re- cently launched Job Tasks Analysis Committee will pave the way for a new competency mod- el for the electronics industry. We are bring- ing these initiatives to the attention of policy- makers and encouraging them to promote vo- cational training and lifelong learning, which are keys to re-educating workers to fill the jobs IPC continues to create. IPC members are also concerned by overly burdensome environment and chemical regu- lations. The substitution of substances of con- cern is a long and cost-intensive process with little certainty that the developed alternatives will not be restricted after a certain period. IPC advocates for smart and proportionate en- vironmental regulations that ensure the right balance between risks, costs, and benefits. The European Commission is currently looking at the issue of interface between chemical, prod- uct, and waste legislation. This could poten- tially result in the introduction of new require- ments for the design of products and the track- ing of substances of concern throughout the supply chain. As an association representing all facets of the electronics industry, IPC clear- ly has a role to play here. Moreover, the recent decision by the European Chemicals Agency to include lead metal on the list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) will have signifi- 80 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2018 cant consequences for IPC members in Europe. IPC will engage in an advocacy and communi- cation campaign in partnership with the Inter- national Lead Association on this issue. Mitchell: Is there anything new or different that you'd like to share about this year's IMPACT Europe? Robin: IMPACT Europe 2018 will be in Brus- sels, Belgium, November 28–29. It will focus on some of the most pressing challenges for our industry. We will kick off the event with a policymakers dinner, followed by a full day of sessions on topics such as conflict miner- als, chemical legislation, and the interface be- tween chemical and waste legislation. One of the novelties this year will be a public event on skills and workforce needs featuring high-level speakers from EU institutions and the industry. We will also bring IPC members to meet with Members of the European Parliaments (MEPs) and learn more about their priorities ahead of the 2019 European elections. Our discussion will lead to a declaration of IPC's priorities for the next policy cycle and urge policymakers to ensure an appropriate regulatory environment for a thriving electronics industry in Europe. Mitchell: To wrap up, Nicolas, what do you like to do in your spare time? Robin: I grew up in the coastal port city of Mar- seille, France. Thus, I love to swim and partic- ipate in all kinds of nautical sports. Since my teens, I have been involved in French and Eu- ropean politics both as an actor and observer of the often complicated and Byzantine world of how Brussels functions. Married to an Egyp- tologist, I am also interested in ancient Middle Eastern civilizations. PCB007 John Mitchell is president and CEO of IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries. To read past columns or contact Mitchell, click here.

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