LEIA’s Emma Mackley chats to Alastair Stannah about the important role the industry has played during lockdown, the challenges we face post-Brexit and his priorities as LEIA President for the next two years…
1. What is your message to the industry as we ease out of lockdown?
The industry and its people have played their part during the pandemic, helping to keep critical services functioning and serving vulnerable customers in their homes. We should be proud of how we have risen to the many challenges faced and the resilience that underpins this, which will stand us in good stead as we hopefully come out of the lockdown over the summer.
2. What do you anticipate the major challenges will be in the next two years post-Brexit?
The primary challenge post-Brexit is to meet the new UKCA marking requirements before the year-end deadline. The work involved will impose a significant burden on the industry and is not helped by the lack of Approved Bodies. I thank the LEIA Quality and Technical Committee, which is working hard with BEIS for a pragmatic solution.
The impact of Brexit, intertwined with the effects of the pandemic, has had a significant impact on supply chains. I expect this will last for some time and create ongoing challenges in procurement.
3. Many Stannah employees work with LEIA providing support on our committees and groups. Why is it important for your organisation to support LEIA’s work?
Stannah are a proud member of LEIA and believe we have a duty to support the work of the committees to help raise standards across our industry. We have many very experienced employees who have much they can give back to the industry
4. What are your priorities over the next two years as President?
As above, we must seek a pragmatic solution to UKCA marking
LEIA is setting up an End-point Assessment Organisation (EpAO) so that we can deliver End Point Assessment (EPA) for apprentices. This will allow LEIA to provide this important service to the industry. It is a big investment for LEIA, which I, along with the Board, will be supporting.
5. Your organisation is a large apprentice employer and champions vocational education. What should our industry be doing to encourage more diversity within the workforce?
Stannah have long believed in the importance of apprenticeships as a means of developing the next generation of employees. LEIA plays an important role in raising awareness of the employment opportunities within the industry, shunning the stereotypes of the past. The LEVEL UP careers website, which shares stories of apprentices, will help us all in attracting the next generation and bringing more diversity to the industry.