The overriding duty of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) to help its members to face up to present and future challenges has been highlighted by president Malcolm Thomson in his inaugural address.
"We must emphasise to clients the high levels of technical competence, commercial capability and adherence to safety best practice that members are required to maintain - and we must address the skills shortages that threaten to limit the extent to which members can take advantage of commercial opportunities," said Mr Thomson at the annual general meeting of the association.
He told the audience that one of the key reasons why small firms joined the association was to gain an understanding of the practices adopted by larger members, so that they could become more professional, more innovative and more efficient in all aspects of their business.
"We must protect and enhance the reputation of the BESA badge as one of quality and reliability - and we must ensure that membership remains healthy in number and representative of the sector,” said Mr Thomson. "I believe that, by fostering lasting relationships between the large guys and the small guys, much advantage can be gained by both parties.”