As we reach the end of our third week in lockdown, we have arrived at what will feel, for many, like a surreal Easter break.
At ECA, we are acutely aware of the pressure that this crisis is bringing to businesses right across our sector. We are striving hard to provide all the support we can to help Members and the wider industry to get through some of the most difficult times ever encountered not just by our industry, but society in general.
I can assure you that we are working tirelessly to help shape and deliver the Government’s business and financial support mechanisms. For example, myself, my colleagues and some volunteer members are part of the Construction Industry Coronavirus Taskforce and their working groups, which is striving to address issues such as access to finance, health and safety on-site, the development of collaborative and fair commercial practices, and more.
In addition, we are feeding our industry’s requests and comments into Government at the highest level. To be fair, we have seen a positive response from HMG in many areas, though there is still more to do to ensure our industry gets the vital support it needs.
Our full attention is on supporting you through the current crisis. My colleagues are constantly producing guidance documents, daily e-updates, webinars, and forums, as well as running busy helplines and being available across the regions, to provide as much help as possible to Members and the wider industry. We aim to ensure that the information and advice we produce is not just a reproduction of Government outputs: we are assessing it in a meaningful way and applying our professional experience to present it in a way that is practically useful for our Members.
It was only a matter of weeks ago that we were highlighting a very bright future for the electrical sector. Low carbon electrical energy is still set to help the nation address significant issues such as the electrification of heat and transport, and it will be a big part of what, in the future, looks set to be a golden era of investment in UK infrastructure. While these opportunities have been deferred, they have not gone away. And in the background, we will continue to develop our support services, ready for when our industry can turn its attention to the opportunities, once again.
But for most of the industry, we fully realise that now is a time of critical challenge. In the current emergency, I won’t pretend that we have a magic wand and can solve everyone’s problems, but I can assure you that what we achieve, whether by way of representation or practical support, will be the result of sustained, dedicated effort on your behalf.
With his in mind I would urge you to keep up to date with what ECA produces – notably on its special coronavirus webpage – www.eca.co.uk/coronavirus. During the emergency, our web information and advice is freely available to all. And if you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us and see how we can help.
Finally, on behalf of the ECA team, I would like to wish you and yours, a Happy - and safe - Easter break.