Kevin Griffin, president of trade body SELECT, has praised the remarkable way in which construction trade and professional associations have stepped up to the plate to protect members’ interests during the coronavirus crisis.
The head of the electrotechnical association said the bodies have made enormous efforts to keep members updated and focused at a time of unprecedented chaos and uncertainty.
Griffin said, “It’s said that you only ever see someone’s true character in a crisis. Well, during the current outbreak, trade associations like SELECT have come into their own and demonstrated their unique and unquestionable value to members.
“As not-for-profit organisations, the sole purpose and principle of SELECT and its fellow trade bodies is their members’ welfare and this commitment has shone through in the past three months.
“I’ve been enormously impressed by the way SELECT and other organisations have rallied to help keep members updated and focused during an extremely worrying time.
“As a contractor myself, I know that even a friendly call asking how you are makes a huge difference. Knowing that someone out there is thinking of your welfare – and not your wallet – means the world to us.”
By way of example, Griffin saluted the emergency measures implemented by SELECT which included refunding 30% of membership fees for 2020, creating a dedicated Covid-19 web hub and issuing clear and expert advice via phone, email and online.
He added, “With face-to-face contact reduced, SELECT has used every alternative measure to reach out and reassure members that they’re not enduring this unprecedented incident alone.
“As the impact of the pandemic started to become clear, it was truly heartening to see The Walled Garden spring into action with a host of practical and proactive measures.”
Mr Griffin also highlighted the part trade associations and professional bodies have played in the Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum, which has seen more than 50 bodies working together to assist the fight the effects of the virus on the sector.
During the compulsory shutdown of operations, the Forum has been in regular touch with the Scottish Government, seeking clarity on a range of issues and suggesting vital measures to help protect cashflow and jobs.
Griffin concluded, “It’s heartening to know that SELECT and its fellow trade bodies are in the unique position to influence and shape real change on our behalf, delivering tangible results that make the industry better for everyone.
“All of these things and more perfectly demonstrate the value of membership of these bodies. We might not be able to stop the virus, but associations like SELECT can inform, educate and assist our members with the things they really need. And will continue to do so long after it’s safe to pick up our tools again.”