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Presidential view First thoughts

ECA president Diane Johnson reflects on

the first few months of her presidency, and identifies some serious challenges ahead


y first four months in office are coming to a close – so, reflecting on that time, here are some of the highlights. In May, we held the industry conference

in Tenerife. It was a superb event – we even managed to outsmart the ash cloud hanging over Europe. The business sessions majored on sustainability and working with others, while we had speakers from both the UK and continental Europe. In the evenings the entertainment programme was second to none. In early June our council and committee chairmen

gave up their precious time to attend a strategic review, led by the executive and myself. At that meeting they took the brave step of looking into the future, and agreed that we needed to adapt to meet the challenges of an ever-changing business landscape. Very open and frank discussions took place, and now we will work together to put the necessary processes in place. Collaboration was also on the agenda,

Training issues are very close to my heart, especially

the training of young people, so I was delighted to be able to attend the event. I have to admit that having a female as the winner of the first Adult Trainee of the Year in my presidential year was a bit special. I wish both of the winners every success in the future,

and I’d also like to express my gratitude to Edmundson Electrical for their 35-year involvement – and long may it continue.

For you, our members, the ECA is

and the ECA council acknowledged that we needed to continue to work with our industry partners to achieve a single voice for our sector. The council also reiterated that the ECA was there to bring added value to our members’ businesses – and that they, with the executive, will strive to ensure this not only continues, but is enhanced wherever possible.

here to help – so make sure you use it at every opportunity

Challenging times To come back to more serious matters, during the last few months I have attended many meetings – and industry dinners – with both industry partners and government officials. It has given me an insight into the current climate for our sector, and at present we all have similar problems: a shortage of work, a lack of training, and immense pressure on prices. In my opinion, the next 12 to 18 months will continue to be difficult; there will be no easy, quick answers. Talking to most, the word most used is ‘survival’. For you, our members, the ECA is here to help – so make sure

you use it at every opportunity. In the latter part of July, there were two major

Award winners In late June, on a beautiful sunny warm weekend, my husband and I attended my first UK conference, in Gwbert, Cardigan Bay (South Wales region). The business session was informative and relevant, and we were made very welcome; and to top it all, we enjoyed the most fabulous sunsets I have ever witnessed. July saw the annual Edmundson Electrical Apprentice

of the Year awards and, for the first time, there were two awards – Apprentice of the Year and Adult Trainee of the Year. The winners were Andrew Hosier, employed by W T Parker, and Leanne Edwards, employed by SPI npower.

announcements, firstly, our new vice president, Paul McNaughton, MD of Darke & Taylor (based in Oxford) was inaugurated. I extend my congratulations to Paul and look forward to working with him over the coming months. Secondly, I would like to offer my congratulations

to David Pollock following the announcement of his retirement. Over the last few years I have worked very closely with David, and I have witnessed his commitment and dedication to the ECA. On behalf of the members, I would like to take this opportunity to thank David for all his hard work over the past 13 years. I would also like to wish him a happy and fulfilled retirement. As my year in office progresses, I look forward to meeting as many members as possible, and will continue to work tirelessly on your behalf.

Autumn 2010 ECA Today 17

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