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UKATA Chairman outlines future growth strategy

The UK Asbestos Training Association Ltd (UKATA) held its annual AGM recently, where in his annual address to members, Chairman Mike Smith outlined the vision for the Association’s future growth strategy. The Chairman’s remarks came in the wake of a surge in new membership applications in 2012-13, which sees the Association now having 130 fee paying members and rising. These figures represent a 40% growth on the previous year and the challenge is now to continue this growth in members in the light of forthcoming legislation and new European and Heath and Safety Executive guidelines.

In his opening address, Mike welcomed the new members of the Executive Committee and commented on the reorganisation of the Association’s management structure. This is seen as a necessary step in order to manage the continued surge in demand for membership and the Association’s growing responsibilities and role in the Asbestos Industry generally.

As part of this ongoing process, Terry Barker stepped down from the Committee to concentrate on his appointment as the new Technical and Operations Manager for UKATA, where he can use his industry experience to guide the influx of new members and assist in the search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer.

"It has been a hectic and challenging year, but steps have now been taken and others set in motion designed to put the Association on the best possible platform for the future," said UKATA Chairman Mike Smith. "Our team structure needed some strengthening to enable us to meet our objectives and this is already well underway. Terry is already doing a great job on the technical and operations side and plans for a permanent CEO will help us in our quest for greater diversification."

"The next 12 months is going to be another hectic year for us all, but I and my fellow ExComm members are confident we are in a position to meet our strategic objectives" added Mike. "The new ExComm has strength and experience in depth, vital to assist in this and the appointment of a full time CEO will help spearhead our drive to continue to establish, set, verify and maintain appropriate standards among asbestos training providers in the United Kingdom."

While highlighting the Association’s strategic positioning for the future, Mike also pointed to several key achievements for UKATA in 2011-12, which include the 40% surge in members; the strengthening of the core team, including the promotion of Craig Evans to the position of IT/Financial Controller; the remarkable performance of members in supporting the HSE Training pledge and the improved financial strength of the Association – an essential achievement with the country still in the grip of recession.

Whilst Mike acknowledged that the economic outlook for the country remained uncertain, and that members still reported difficult trading conditions, the fact that membership was still growing coupled with the imminent arrival of new legislation meant the role of UKATA is more important than ever in serving member’s interests in a industry and an economy still in a considerable state of flux.

"The ExComm and I are hugely positive about the challenges we face. If we fulfil our responsibilities and perform to our full capabilities, UKATA should grow and diversify and I look forward to welcoming many more new members who wish to be part of the journey with us," concluded Mike.

UKATA is always keen to talk to prospective Members who are 100% committed to the highest professional standards. For further information on UKATA, visit www.ukata.org.uk

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