I started in the textile industry in 1988. I became a dyer and finisher without really knowing what one was. I always remember starting work on Monday, for some reason I chose to wear an almost lime green top with some racing car motif, I do not know why that is important. I was told “your going to college tomorrow” and away I went to Bradford for the next 6 or so years of day release. Starting with ONC, then HNC and onto ASDC exams etc. The combination of a formal education alongside your day to day “in at the deep end” experiences gave you a knowledge and an understanding of your subject that i do not think can be bettered. Since I started running my own company I have spent a lot of time, networking both online and in “real life”. This involves being involved on social media networking platforms such as Linked In and even the SDC’s Colourclick forum. What amazes me about these forums, is the lack of technical knowledge that is out there and the way some people use these forums as a quick fix. You can see a posting from someone describing themselves as a technical manager or R&D Director , the question they are asking or more likely the problem they are facing is something that you would have been expected to know the answer to at ONC1. While I appreciate with companies down sizing and people not coming into the industry that the pool of talent and knowledge is rapidly diminishing but is this what our industry is becoming?. One where a factory stops until the process parameters are tweeted to the production director. I am all for using available technology to try to solve a problem, but it seems that this is now at the detriment of actual knowledge and therefore quality of the finished product. Its time that our industry was taken back to the innovative technical one it once was. With people working to develop new processes and parameters and doing so through hard work and a deep knowledge of the subject not through an Iphone app.