This summer, roofing ventilation and accessories manufacturer, Klober, was set to celebrate 60 years of serving the building and construction industry. Now, with the COVID19 pandemic turning the world on its head, UK Managing Director Stuart Stockley takes a moment to reflect and share a message of support to the industry
“Across the world, people are all having to adapt to a new normal, with the majority of life and businesses finding new ways of working. The roofing industry isn’t alone in feeling the effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the start of this year, our business was preparing for a year of celebration – activities and investments to mark our legacy in the sector. However, given the circumstances, what is more important right now is to take stock of how our industry needs to pull together at this time and keep going.
I was saddened to read recent research, from Local Heroes, that found 60% of skilled tradespeople across the nation feel the COVID-19 outbreak has caused a negative effect on their mental health.
For many roofing professionals, social interaction with their local merchant branch is really important, and so that daily or weekly chat has very much been missed. Our industry bodies are doing good work in this space and would recommend anyone wanting to find out more about support services to contact the Institute of Roofing regarding their mental health courses, or visit the National Federation for Roofing Contractors’ portal for advice.
We’re glad to see many more of our merchants opening their doors once again. Indeed many never closed. We are working hard to provide the correct support for the current environment. And, like everyone, we are stringently following Government guidelines.
Gaining tradespeople’s trust has always been Klober’s number one priority, therefore it is important to us that we retain our exceptional service standards in order to make it as easy as we can. These standards mean that as a business we are resilient even in tough times.
The past 60 years have not been without their challenges for the construction industry. While we haven’t quite faced a situation like this before, macroeconomic factors such as employment levels, recessions and skills shortages have all played their part in testing the minds of professionals.
What’s for certain is that to be ready to face the challenge we all need to plan ahead and remain resilient to change. We know from the past, keeping standards high will be central to this.
Our industry has long-endured the shadows of rogue traders – a few bad apples who have tarred the trade’s reputation. It was only back in 2018 that 38% of Which? members said they don’t trust roofers and builders when employing them for the first time. Our ethos for a (challenging) 2020 and beyond remains to raise the roofing standard - we want to support and stand by the professionals who put quality first.
So, while this isn’t the message I originally expected to be sharing at 60 years of business, it is written with empathy. It’s not easy for anyone right now, but through authenticity, collaboration and high standards, we will ride this wave together for another 60 years and beyond.”