THE Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA) has revealed that the conversations that take place this week at ScotPlant 2022 will be a ‘barometer’ for the industry and the challenges ahead.

The organisation is exhibiting at the Royal Highland Centre and expects the two-day event to highlight the issues which are causing the biggest concern for plant owners and operators.

Speaking ahead of ScotPlant 2022, SPOA president Callum Mackintosh said, “As always, I am looking forward to ScotPlant. It is a highlight of the year and this year it feels more important than ever to gather industry together. 2022 is shaping up to be one of our most challenging years to date, despite having weathered the storm of Covid over the last two years.

“The removal of the rebate on red diesel, the challenges of staying profitable when fuel prices continue to rise and the fact that the whole of the UK is facing an exponential rise in the cost of living, with inflation reaching its highest recorded level since 1992, mean that plant owners are concerned about the future.

“Whilst we can’t wave a magic wand at the SPOA, I would say to members and non-members to come and find us at ScotPlant this week because what I can promise is that we will do everything in our power to represent the industry and lobby on your behalf.”

Joined by the CITB, the industry association is encouraging employers to come and find out more about recruiting apprentices and how to access funding. A prominent feature of the stand will be the plant simulator. The SPOA would like businesses to partner with the association to take the plant simulator into schools across the country to give young people an insight into the industry.

Callum is also calling on those in the lifting sector to come along and speak to the SPOA. He added, “We pride ourselves on a collaborative approach with all members of the construction industry. Now we are reaching out to those in the lifting sector as we feel they are often overlooked. We’d like to address that and in the next few weeks we hope to be in a position to announce an initiative that will ensure that the lifting sector is better represented. So, again, I’d extend the invitation to members and non-members to come and speak to us.”

The SPOA will be in the Lowland Hall at ScotPlant 2022 and hard copies of the published guidance ’Transitioning from Red Diesel’ will be available to take away.