As the building finishes and interior fit out sector progresses and evolves, the materials and disciplines used change and move on. But the core skill remains and the commitment to continuous improvement is pivotal to the success of FPDC and its members.

We finally appear to be seeing the beginnings of recovery in our industry after a period of great difficulty and challenge.  We have all worked hard to survive and grow during the recession. 2014 shows signs of recovery for the economy generally, and the signs are all there for construction.

However, to contractors and suppliers alike, we would urge everyone to stop and really think what the saying ‘turnover is vanity, profit is sanity and cash is the reality’ means to you and your business.  Let us all ensure that this sector, and in turn, this industry, is sustainable for years to come.

The fact that during the recession FPDC has retained good levels of membership, and that as a sector we have continued to campaign on crucial matters such as payment terms, technical standards and training, demonstrates the underlying strength and value your Federation can add to the construction industry.

Strength is crucial if we are to move forward to promote our sector, advocate more efficient ways of working and protect the interests of members against unwelcome predators.

And it is for this reason that we approached the Association of Interior Specialists and look to combine two bodies. Early signs are that FPDC members agree with this strategy and it appears likely that, subject to due diligence, that FPDC and AIS will come together this year.

It will be important for our sector to have a strong voice with other influential parties in the construction industry.

Whether it is the continuing expansion of dry forms of construction, the need to make homes more energy efficient or protecting historic buildings; the role of our members in installing new systems or crafting creativity often goes un-recognised by others.

The new FPDC AIS federation will make sure that the interests of our contractor members are respected and protected . Together we will be stronger to meet the next set of challenges we’ll face; be it commercial, technical or skills related.

We will be here to add value to your businesses; making sure that the right training is available, that funding is available and that technical advice is also available. We will also monitor policy and contractual issues and bring examples of bad practice to the attention of those who need to know.

FPDC has heritage, it has a wealth of knowledge and experience in training and technical matters and an extremely strong link with the tradition of our craft.

As we enter a new era as a combined force with our friends from AIS make sure that your voice is heard, and that you play an active part in the new organisation.  We are entering an exciting time and one which FPDC is looking forward to with great relish.

The FPDC Plaisterers’ Awards provide the building finishes and interior fit out sector with an ideal opportunity to showcase work and gain the recognition for high levels of excellence. Inside this issue see a commemorative supplement and you can also find details of winners by CLICKING HERE.