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Agency alliance is platform for positive action

The Building Services Engineering Employment Agency Alliance is providing a valuable forum for the review of key workforce issues - and an effective platform for the initiation of positive action - jointly by contractors and their principal manpower providers.
This was the overall message to derive from the first annual general meeting of the alliance, which took place in London earlier this month.

In his introduction to the proceedings, independent chairman Lord O'Neill of Clackmannan confirmed that, in its first year of existence, the organisation had created a 'collaborative environment' in which matters of mutual interest and concern could be discussed and debated.

He added that, while growth had been modest - with 15 firms having so far met the rigorous entry criteria - he was confident that, by the same time next year, further key labour providers would have been convinced of the benefits of signing up, and would be in a position to make the 'key commitments' demanded by alliance membership.

Peter Rimmer, head of employment affairs at HVCA - which established the alliance in the spring of last year and continues to provide strategic leadership and administrative support - pointed out that, in the current recession, every company had to increase its efficiency, re-examine its working practices and streamline its operations.

'Engagement with the Building Services Engineering Employment Agency Alliance can do a great deal to assist contractors in fine-tuning their policies and strategies in the important areas of vocational training and manpower deployment and development,' Rimmer explained.

'Equally importantly, it allows senior employment agency personnel more fully to understand the short, medium and long-term business requirements of their customer base.'

The annual general meeting culminated in presentation of membership certificates to two new alliance members: Watford-based Fast Track Management Services (London); and Rullion Alltrades of Altrincham, Cheshire.

During a business programme that immediately followed the meeting, presentations were made on: the implementation into the UK of the European Agency Workers Directive; the SummitSkills Equivalence Framework for holders of overseas qualifications; and Engineering Services SKILLcard, the recognised personnel registration scheme for the mechanical services sector.
1 September 2009

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