Rebecca Mason, Past President of the Institute of Builders Merchants, talks to IoBM President Andrew Pine as he moves into his second Term of Office.
Rebecca Mason: So, another successful year for the Institute Andrew?
Andrew Pine: Yes, it has been another busy year for the Institute—the 3rd Practical Building Skills event, a Past Presidents Lunch, the endorsement and certification of Travis Perkins’ apprenticeship and management qualifications, the ongoing development of the website… It has been all go, but it is helping to increase our membership numbers, which is really positive.
RM: The Practical Building Skills events continue to be popular…
AP: Absolutely—the level of interest has been far more than we anticipated, so much so that we are now investigating the development of a Practical Skills Qualification. The Institute feels there is a real gap in the market and from attendee feedback, working with the products definitely helps the attendees’ understanding of them. Thanks as always to our Supplier Partners, the Institute Charity Fund, BMTT and Worshipful Company for supporting the event.
RM: I understand we regularly see the Apprentices from Travis Perkins at the Practical Skills events now?
AP: Yes, although they are struggling to beat the Ridgeons and MKM teams! On a serious note, Sue Scouler-Davison, TP’s Group Training Manager, approached the Institute to ask if we would be prepared to endorse their new Apprenticeship Programme to give it a merchant focus. The Institute has been asked to do this for a number of companies in the past and it is something we would very much like to continue, should any other companies require this service. People obviously see value in being part of a professional network.
RM: Unfortunately I was unable to attend the Past Presidents lunch due to other commitments, however I understand it was a great event…?
AP: Absolutely. The self-funding event was held in the Cavendish Club in London and was attended by 20 Past Presidents and Officers over the lifespan of the Institute. It was most enjoyable and extremely informative, giving me some personal insights into the history of the Institute and my thanks go to Dave Saunders for organising the event. Unfortunately, I was also unable to attend this year, but I do understand from Dave it was equally successful – certainly it’s a rich source of experience we can continue to benefit from.
RM: So how is the new website going?
AP: It is developing well. We have introduced a Members Forum and, thanks to support from the BMF, we are now able to offer our members the Campus online learning facility free of charge. The whole site has been reformatted and it’s certainly worth visiting www.iobm.co.uk—we are keen to receive feedback.
RM: So you decided to stay for a second term of office?
AP: I felt that a second term allowed a continued focus on completing key initiatives already underway such as the Practical Skills Qualification and further development of the membership benefits on the website. I’m grateful to my Chief Executive David Kilburn and MKM for continuing to support the Institute in this way.
RM: I understand we have also strengthened the Board of Governors?
AP: Yes, Abigail Briggs from Ridgeons has taken on the Treasurers role and Chris Pateman has returned as a Governor; both of whom have a lot to offer the Institute.
RM: So its all looking very positive for the Institute?
AP: It most certainly is. Every step forward is generating new members, keen to develop their professional competence in the merchant industry.
26th July 2012