SELECT’s ‘business as usual’ approach continues to deliver vital services to members
SELECT’s values of cooperation, collaboration and commitment have guided the organisation through one of the most challenging years in its 120-year history, its first-ever digital annual report has revealed.
Scotland’s largest trade association has used the online publication to reveal how it redoubled its efforts to provide support, guidance and information to help its 1,243 member companies and their workforces navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout the shutdown of the sector, the influential trade body reported that it had not only maintained a “business as usual” approach but had also introduced swathes of new services, including online training and new processes for dealing with membership applications.
Alan Wilson, managing director of SELECT, said: “The past year has essentially been divided in two, with the first part dealing with life before COVID-19 and the second dealing with the response to the coronavirus crisis and the industry’s steps towards recovery.
“As our first-ever digital annual report shows, we have dealt with both halves with equal determination, putting our members first every step of the way. We didn’t close our doors or reduce our services – instead we demonstrated the true value of trade associations by working harder than ever to offer a wealth of advice and information around the clock.
“This association was established in 1900 by individuals who wanted to cooperate and collaborate in what was then a very new industry, and as our report shows, these values remain key to how we shape our actions today.”
Replacing the usual printed publication, the 2019/20 Annual Report is the organisation’s first-ever purely digital round-up of the year’s activities and was produced for its AGM on September 2 which was also its first virtual event, held via Zoom webinar.
Among the COVID milestones, the report reveals that, during the first six months of the pandemic, SELECT issued £329,405 in membership subscription refunds, fielded 600 calls to its employment and technical hotlines and issued 36 new employment guidance documents.
In addition, it delivered 42 online training courses to 253 delegates, saw 1,062 calls handled by the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) and created 143 ECS electronic Health, Safety and Environmental Assessments
SELECT’s increased communication activity resulted in nearly 42,000 website visits to its dedicated COVID hub during the first six months of the pandemic, and also attracted 1,798 new social media followers to its Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn channels – a rise of 202%.
As well as issuing 141 updates via its own hub, the organisation also worked with the Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum (CICV Forum) to produce 68 pieces of essential guidance between March 23 and August 31.
Iain Mason, director of membership and communications at SELECT, said: “The COVID-19 crisis has been the biggest challenge SELECT and its members have ever faced but, thanks to our amazing people, we have been able to function efficiently throughout.
“By making communication a key part of our strategy, we’ve provided members with essential information and advice as it happens, helping them to keep up with the latest developments to help them work safely and efficiently.”
Outwith the COVID crisis, the report also reveals that SELECT helped distribute £525,000 in Electrical Engineering Training Foundation grants and disbursed 225,000 welfare credits.
It has also launched videos aimed at women apprentices, designed and delivered new training courses and had new installation and modern apprenticeship frameworks approved, as well as driving numerous initiatives in technical, communication and employment areas.
Income from membership subscriptions and application fees rose over the year, as did sales of products and services, which produced a profit of £466,371, up from £284,649 last year.