John Sibbald

LONG-STANDING ScotPlant exhibitor Sibbald Training director John Sibbald has been named as the new president of the Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA).

He was elected at the trade association’s AGM, succeeding Callum Mackintosh and will be supported by Jarvie Plant MD David Jarvie in his role as vice president.

John Sibbald has been involved in the construction industry all his life as part of the West Lothian-based family business started by his father 50 years ago.

He said, “It is very exciting to have the opportunity to be the president of the Scottish Plant Owners Association which is steeped in over 70 years of history. It is an honour to be part of an organisation whose past presidents and committee members have steered the association to where it is today. I feel this is my opportunity to give back to the industry which has allowed our family to succeed.”

John added that he has been buoyed by the progress made over the last couple of years to introduce more of a structure and strategy for the SPOA to allow it to become stronger and more sustainable. With a permanent base for the association in Stirling and the appointment of Vicky Park as a full-time administrator, John is determined to continue this momentum and offer increased value for members, better communication of industry information and to give a strong voice for any challenges the Scottish plant industry faces. John also plans to capitalise on the association’s recent investment in a plant simulator, and work with members to use this to promote career opportunities and encourage new talent into the sector.

Sibbald Training has been exhibiting at ScotPlant for many years

“Every day we see new challenges in our industry,” John added. “In my opinion the age-old concern of the shortage of new entrants into the industry continues to be one of these key challenges and one that we will continue to try and tackle with the support of the CITB. Pressure on industry to reduce our carbon footprint is one that is easy to put off and worry about tomorrow, but we need to tackle it here and now. Related to this is the increase in machinery costs and new technology which can be part of the solution to tackle our carbon footprint, but which require investment and plant mechanic upskilling.

“The SPOA will continue to work with our industry supplier members and share new technology information, product launch and engagement opportunities to ensure that our members are informed about the direction of the industry.”

John heaped praise on outgoing president Callum Mackintosh for his successful tenure. “I believe that in years to come when looking back at Callum’s time in the chair, it will be seen as an instrumental period for the association with the changes and modernisation he oversaw,” he explained. “Callum has set the SPOA on a path of progress, growth, and opportunity. It is easy to forget that our members volunteer their time on the executive committee and to serve as president. This is a huge personal sacrifice. On behalf of the executive committee and the membership, I would like to extend our thanks to Callum and congratulate him on everything he achieved as president.”

Both Sibbald Training and the SPOA will be exhibiting at ScotPlant 2024