As we enter into spring, I feel there has been a positive shift in everyone’s optimism after what has been an incredibly difficult time for many across the country. A year after the first lockdown was imposed, I’m really proud of the resilience that the single ply community has shown, with both manufacturers and contractors pulling together to keep things moving.
Looking ahead to better times (fingers crossed), it’s clear that we still have plenty of challenges to tackle in the construction sector. But one of the reasons I became a member of the SPRA council was to be part of an organisation that fights for positive change and keeps the community informed on the important issues and I know we can get through it.
I’ve been a member of the council for three years now – although it feels like a lot longer as during my past 30 years at Sika I’ve often stepped in when someone was absent. It’s been a privilege to offer my viewpoint and use experience in this role. From starting out as one of Sarnafil’s first Field Technicians to becoming Head of Applications for Sika’s roofing department, and now taking on a wider support role across the business, I hope to be a voice for many people in the industry.
My passion has always been, and continues to be, training. My life’s work is to fly the flag for the value of and necessity for high quality training in single ply. Honestly, it’s been a hard year and we’ve had to find ways to adapt. Sika dedicates huge amounts of time and resources to upskilling its roofing contractor network and since the pandemic we’ve had to pull back from group training at our Roofing Training Academy and move to socially distanced one-on-one, on-site instruction. This, combined with online webinars and CPDs, has kept things ticking over, but we will have a lot to catch up when restrictions lift to ensure that no gaps are left. We still train from novice, which is obviously a really important job, and it needs to be hands-on. But we have big things in the pipeline, so watch this space!
One of SPRA’s biggest goals this year will getting our first ever virtual annual conference off the ground. These events are crucial in terms of getting everyone together and keeping them up-to-date with industry standards and important information. It’s an invaluable platform to bring us all together so we can share our views. We don’t want to lose momentum and plan to have plenty of top speakers, as well as the awards, which are a fantastic way to recognise everyone’s amazing achievements through a tough year.
Ian Muddiman, Head of Business Unit Support, Sika