Whether you believe Einstein’s theory of relativity or not, time certainly seems to go faster as you get older. This is something always brought home by the turning of a New Year, especially when you’ve just celebrated a significant birthday.
It seems to move even faster when you are the Master of a Livery company. Since being installed last April, my life has been a whirlwind and I can hardly believe it will soon be time to hand over the mantle.
It’s been a real honour to represent the Environmental Cleaners at events in the City throughout the year, including the Remembrance Day Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral and of course the Lord Mayor’s Show to name but two.
As an analyst by profession, it would perhaps be remiss of me not to look forward to 2017 and to what it might bring.
Given the surprises 2016 brought, I’m not going to stick my neck out too far and will concentrate on our industry. Although smart technology, robotics and the like may grab the headlines, I don’t see any dramatic changes to the principal business drivers – can the job be done for less cost, in less time, less intrusively and produce a better result?
The technical and regulatory demands upon the industry will continue to increase and employers will need to ensure that all their employees remain suitably qualified and receive continuous training support; something the Environmental Cleaners’ plays an important part in.
And, of course, there’s Brexit. How will the UK’s departure from the European Union affect the industry? Of course, there’s a lot of uncertainty about that. For instance, what pieces of legislation will change? Cleaning has traditionally relied on migrant workers, and we await confirmation of what, if anything, will change for them (and therefore the industry as a whole). There’s also the threat of some of the businesses we service leaving the UK.
There are plenty of ‘what ifs’, that’s for sure, but the New Year is a time for positivity and new resolve, so I’ll predict a good year for the industry and for the Environmental Cleaners to go from strength to strength.
It will go quickly, but I do still have some time left as Master and I will continue to fly the flag for our great livery company and industry until April with great pride. I also look forward to continuing to play my part as a Past Master in due course.
Master of the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners