Issue 6 | Spring 2012


Howard Robinson, RSTA Chief Executive

Past Achievements and Future Challenges

At a time when councils and highway authorities across the UK are challenged with making significant budget savings it is critically important that industry plays its part by helping to maintain the road network when there is less money available. In doing so we help to protect public safety and also help the economy through a very difficult period by maintaining the transport system which is essential to stimulating economic growth.

As the focal point for the road surface treatments industry, the RSTA has a critical role to play not just because the industry needs to embrace alternative lower cost techniques for maintaining roads but because over the past two decades we have seen an alarming number of skilled, qualified and experienced people leave our industry with an equally alarming lack of attention given to succession planning. This means just when we need to have a repository of good experienced engineers and technicians to manage the road network on shrinking budgets by thinking out of the box, the cupboard is becoming increasingly bare. This is where I see the RSTA really having a significant role to play by capturing industry best practice then helping to raise industry awareness through training the highway engineers, asset managers and contractors of tomorrow. By doing this we will help to re-build knowledge and know how across our industry at a time when fiscal austerity measures are forcing industry to re-think how it does things and look for more economic ways of working to stretch budgets without compromising safety on the network.

Since its formation in 2008, the RSTA can be proud of its achievements. Membership has grown significantly and continues to do so and although we are probably seen as a contractor led Association over half the members are upstream suppliers and local authorities. We have developed and continue to deliver a wide range of CPD training seminars aimed at managers, engineers and technicians. We have also strengthened links with ConstructionSkills in developing and delivering comprehensive training programmes for operatives and supervisors leading to recognised qualifications. This improves workforce competency, helps to reduce risk in the workplace and helps to get the job done right first time. We continue to also strengthen our relationships with key client organisations and other trade bodies and work together to develop industry guidance, Codes of Practice and promote workforce competency through National Highway Sector Scheme 13.

There are many challenges ahead over the next few years. The RSTA is here to help by providing sensible practical advice and training to all who need it.

Howard Robinson
Chief Executive

Copies of the RSTA commemorative brochure ’70 Years of Progress’ are available from the RSTA office or as a download from www.rsta-uk.org/publications

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