Never has it been more important than now to keep in touch with Government during the current unprecedented health crisis.
Although the tremendous pressures on health care are of course the nation’s primary concern, no-one in industry can be unaware at the same time of the wider potential threats from business stagnation and the dire consequences that could follow from any prolonged time of economic breakdown. Saving lives, jobs and livelihoods are all important.
There are severe pressures as never before on commercial activity. The fire door sector faces collapse in demand; and essential component supplies have dried up as well, except for specially negotiated deliveries needed for essential work. Full orders before the crisis are reduced to merely a trickle.
Government considerations of short-term support for business are appreciated. But there are concerns that provisions may not prove sufficient in practice to keep the sector in good enough shape when it comes to emerge eventually from the crisis. Specialised manufacturing for fire doors cannot easily be sustained without demand, especially if skilled staff trained over several years have had to be released or placed on extended leave of absence whilst factories try to keep going on a minimal resource basis.
There are sincere concerns for the UK’s specialist fire door sector if activity should remain as critically low as it has been since the beginning of the crisis, especially should a form of recovery fail to materialise over any further extended period of months rather than weeks.
At some point the relative policy emphasis will have to shift from immediate crisis response more towards strategic recovery management. The effects of the crisis are already expected to be both long-lasting and deep rooted; and a degree of recovery to a new form of some normality is seen as becoming especially vital.
ASDMA has therefore written to Ministers to appraise them of the various impacts on specialist fire door manufacturing, asking as well for encouragement to get construction working again. That is at least at minimum levels, as soon as possible where working can be introduced safely, as appropriate with sensible management on a risk-reduction basis.
To view ASDMA’s full letter to Government ministers, click here.