A coalition of the Building Services industry comprising ECA, SELECT, APHC and SNIPEF warns of dire consequences for the industry if HVCA insists on going ahead with the Building & Engineering Services Association (BESA) and the proposed BESNA Agreement.The coalition of trade associations says: "HVCAs desire to railroad changes in the industrial relations environment through the proposed Building Engineering Services agreement without union backing is short-sighted and a recipe for disaster. In addition, the formation of a new trade association without the backing of the rest of the industry will simply divide and weaken the voice of the Building Services sector. Collaborative working has served us well and a unilateral move away from this approach causes great concern for the future wellbeing of the industry.
"We believe that by working together there is a way through this. We too are seeking to achieve change in our industry but we ought to move forward as one in collaboration. An Industry Modernisation Forum is being established and we would urge those companies concerned to come forward and have their say. This is not only a more dependable route than that proposed but significantly, it would avoid fragmentation of the industry - the ramifications of which would be ruinous for our sector.
"In terms of Industrial Relations, the HVCAs actions put the industry firmly on track for a great deal of instability and unrest, not to mention an erosion of market confidence in an economic climate where the industry should be working together rather than breaking apart and undermining its own position. There will be a loss of identity for those members of existing building services associations, which will impact not only member companies, but will be confusing to clients. "The industry associations have spent considerable effort over the years in working together. We are worried that organisations such as the SEC Group and SummitSkills will be affected by the new building services landscape proposed by HVCA. There is also likely to be a negative impact in the devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales where again, the associations have a history of collaborative working."
About the CoalitionECA - The Electrical Contractors Association represents the interests of 3,000 member companies involved in electrical installation work. Collectively, the member companies have an annual turnover of more than £5 billion, employ over 30,000 operatives and support 8,000 apprentices in craft training. The role of the ECA is to provide a focus for the electrical industry in terms of safety, training, qualification, technological development and industry performance. www.eca.co.uk
SELECT - Founded in 1900, SELECT is the trade association for the electrical contracting industry in Scotland. Today, there are over 1,200 Members of SELECT each one working to stringent membership criteria. SELECT Member companies account for 90% of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland, have a collective turnover of £1 billion and provide employment for 15,000 operatives, apprentices and adult trainees. www.select.org.uk
APHC - The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors is the trade association for the plumbing and heating industry in England and Wales. APHC has provided valuable business services since the 1920s. www.competentpersonsscheme.co.uk SNIPEF - Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation was established in 1923 and represents nearly 800 plumbing and heating businesses in Scotland and Northern Ireland, who between them employ nearly 4,500 operatives and apprentices. www.snipef.org