Trade associations at work
A Trade Association Forum case study

Page 1: Introduction

This case study covers the role played by Trade Associations in the UK economy. It draws on examples from four contrasting industrial and service sectors: travel, financial services, electrical contracting and road haulage. The economy is made up of business sectors, each of which contr-ibutes to consumer welfare. For example, we all benefit from having goods delivered efficiently to our local...
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Page 2: Representation

Trade Associations, sometimes working together in alliances, are important pressure groups. They represent the views and interests of their members to politicians and other key individuals and organisations locally, nationally and internationally (particularly at EU level). The dialogue is not one-way. Governments with proposals in mind will normally approach Trade Associations for a view on any...
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Page 3: Current challenges

In a very competitive and increasingly globalised world, there are several pressures on Trade Associations themselves.  The nature of their sectors regularly changes as new technologies emerge, as new competitors appear and as companies amalgamate through merger or takeover. It is a major challenge for Trade Associations to adapt and anticipate change in order to provide leadership for...
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Page 4: Road haulage: RHA

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) represents some 9,000 member companies operating over 100,000 vehicles. A significant number of members employ 10 or fewer staff. Transport services are essential in modern economy, and over 80% of the UK’s domestic freight is carried by road. Road haulage is highly regulated: vehicles, operators and drivers are subject to numerous sets of rules. Some of...
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Page 5: Electrical contracting

The Electrical Contractors Association  (ECA) and SELECT (the Trade Association for the electrical, electronics and communications systems industry in Scotland) work to improve industry standards by: promoting high quality work creating opportunities for advanced training participating in standards setting bodies. ECA members employ over 30,000 people and support 8,000 apprentices in...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Trade Associations are a key part of the business world, offering consumers better standards, more security and greater peace of mind about the quality of the businesses with which they are dealing. Trade Associations encourage high quality, self-regulation of sectors, better training standards and a stronger voice for those businesses facing external regulation. They also ensure that...
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