After several years struggling with limited resources, the merger of the Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) with the BMF provides the additional support needed to revitalise the professional body for all those working in the merchant industry.
If the IoBM is to succeed and grow it must have the support of the next generation of business leaders, and it is now led by a new management committee that gives far greater prominence to youth. The six person committee includes the Chair and Vice Chair of BMF Young Merchants as well as two existing Institute Board members and two BMF directors.
At their first management meeting they agreed that all BMF Young Merchants will be automatically enrolled within the Institute during its first 12 months. This brings in a more diverse cohort, all under the age of 40 and with an equal split of male and female professionals.
They also set a target of 1,000 members within the first year and are encouraging larger merchants to buy into the benefits of membership and get on board. Going forward, their aims are even more ambitious — over 10,000 members and an aspiration to become a Chartered Institute.
“If the IoBM is to succeed and grow it must have the support of the next generation of business leaders, and it is now led by a new management committee that gives far greater prominence to youth.”
Industry reaction to the merger, agreed back in April, has been overwhelmingly positive. As well as attracting new members, the Institute welcomes applications from past members and has enhanced the membership category for manufacturers and suppliers to the merchant industry that support the IoBM’s professional training ethos.
Corporate Supplier members will help embrace the entire building materials sector within the Institute and their fees will support training and development. In return they may nominate two employees as IoBM contacts within their business, and the Institute will include details of any free CPD or merchant training programmes offered by Corporate Supplier members.
This category has rapidly gained support, with the NMBS and five leading suppliers, Aco, Knauf Insulation, the Keystone Group, Mannok and Reisser, amongst the first to sign up.
Jo Callow, Head of Corporate Communications at Knauf Insulation and current Vice Chair of BMF Young Merchants, represents two key membership groups for the IoBM and clearly understands the benefits of belonging to a professional Institute. She said: “We became IoBM Corporate Supplier members as we recognise the work that the IoBM and the BMF have done together to breathe life back into the Institute. We are keen to encourage training, development and learning for individuals throughout the industry and recognise that this is a great way to support that.”
Roseanna Daly, HR Head of Strategic Projects at the Keystone Group, speaks for another Corporate Supplier trailblazer, saying: “We are delighted to be part of the IoBM, recognising the important role that it plays within the construction industry, particularly in terms of training, certification and enhancing the professional standing of the merchant industry.
“Our continued success and growth is largely dependent on the strength of our relationships with our merchant customers. Partnering with the IoBM and BMF will allow us to continue to support the training and development of those individuals employed in this industry.”
Find out more about IoBM membership at www.bmf.org.uk/IOBM
This article first appeared in the September edition of PBM in the BMF Training Zone feature.