New SNIPEF president appointed at AGM

Robin Hall

THE Scotland and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF) has appointed Robin Hall as its new president.

Robin Hall, owner of RD Hall Plumbing and Heating Engineers of Dalkeith, steps up from the VP role, succeeding Neil Hadden of Elgin, whose presidency was extended by a year during the Covid-19 emergency.

The move was confirmed at an AGM. Other announcements included that former SNIPEF president Gordon Matheson is retiring, and George Baxter will be taking on the role as junior VP.

Robin Hall has held a number of executive roles with SNIPEF over the course of 20 years. He established his business in 1994 and now employs three people.

He said, “After an unprecedented year in which Neil Hadden and SNIPEF chief executive Fiona Hodgson steered the profession through uncharted waters, I believe I am taking on the role at a time in which we can be slightly more optimistic. There is no question that the sector suffered greatly over the Covid year, when only emergency work could be undertaken. The effect on employment, training and apprenticeships was severe, but I think that we are now getting back on track.

“The fact remains that Scotland and Northern Ireland are short of skilled, qualified plumbers and heating technicians, whose expertise will be vital as the country aims for the energy efficiency targets necessary for the transition to a net zero economy.”

Robin added that he is committed to the goals set out in SNIPEF’s pre-election manifesto, which include the transition to net zero; employment matters; and fair work measures such as Project Bank Accounts and action on retentions.

He stated he is also keen to ‘move forward’ on the issue of Protection of Title. “As a simple matter of public safety, those who work in the industry must do so in a safe and competent manner,” he explained.

Robin paid tribute to the work undertaken by the SNIPEF team in helping to establish the Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum. “The Forum moved quickly and decisively to get construction back on its feet, and it was an invaluable support to both employers and staff,” he said. “However, it also brought the sector together in a way that had not been seen before, to work towards a common purpose.

“Although the immediate restrictions of the Covid year are receding, the work of the Forum will continue, showing unanimity, commitment and a determination not only to save the sector but to improve and expand it. I will fully support SNIPEF’s ongoing co-operation.”

Outgoing president Neil Hadden said, “I am stepping down after an eventful period in office, but I could not be passing the baton into better hands than Robin’s. I know that he will put all his best efforts into growing and developing the Federation’s key role in the sector.”