It is easy for an Annual Review to focus on the many problems 2020 brought to the electrical contracting industry. The Joint Industry Board (JIB) releases its 2020 Annual Review by recapping its key announcements and achievements from last year.
The speed and spread of Coronavirus made 2020 one of the most difficult years in living memory. The JIB responded quickly, handling over 2,000 telephone calls and opening a Coronavirus Hub on the JIB website, which received almost 9,000 visitors. It also sent out newsletters to keep members up to date with developments and hosted a series of webinars which attracted more than 1,000 attendees.
The JIB website has continued to be a vital source of information for JIB members, with more than 89,000 downloads of the JIB Handbook and over 4,500 visitors to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme webpage.
Since 1968, when its disputes resolutions facility was set up, JIB has played a crucial role resolving industrial disputes. In 2020 JIB resolved over 100 disputes by way of pre-claim conciliation. The year saw several key appointments. Sylvia Cashman and Sir Brendan Barber joined the JIB National Board as Public Interest Members. Phil Wilbraham was appointed as the new Chair of the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) Steering Committee.
The Annual Review highlights some impressive level of support from the ECS as well. In 2020 more than 250 companies signed up to ECS Check, a new online system from the ECS that allows clients, contractors and others to verify the ECS card status of electrotechnical workers, and there are now 175,000 ECS cards registered in the UK. On average, 1,400 ECS applications were received on a weekly basis, with the majority being turned around within two weeks.
Jay Parmar, Chief Executive of the JIB, says: “Despite 2020 being a hugely challenging year, the JIB endeavoured to adopt a ‘business as usual’ approach wherever possible, meaning we were able to achieve some significant industry breakthroughs at the same time as doing our best to help our members and their workforce through a very difficult time.
“The JIB has also strengthened its plans to ensure it attracts the talent and promotes the skills to deliver the UK’s ambitious green economic recovery, supported through the JIB’s Business Plan, which aims to build on the longer-term strategic priorities of raising employment standards, achieving significant business growth and creating a safer built environment.”