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Articles from INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS (259 Articles)

JAA CEO Ian Hadassin targeting younger staff
JAA CEO Ian Hadassin targeting younger staff

JAA to target employee membership

The JAA is preparing to establish a new membership category for employees of its member companies.

JAA chief executive Ian Hadassin said the move is designed to extend the association’s reach with the people that the JAA sees as “the future of the industry”.

He explained: “Up until now we’ve had absolutely no contact with our members’ employees. All our contact goes through the employers.”

Hadassin said that the new membership category will help the industry body get information across on issues such as education. “If we’re going to consider running any educational courses, it’s going to be for them [employees] anyway so it’s essential that we’re able to talk to them directly.”

He added: “For every member company we’ve got, there’s probably an average of three to four staff behind that – so we’re talking about at least four or five thousand people that we’re not getting to.”

Employees who become “associate members” will be charged a nominal annual fee. The category will encompass staff from all areas of the industry, including retail, manufacturing and distribution. However, membership will only be open to staff working in businesses that are already JAA members.

Hadassin said staff membership would help empower employees. “It will keep them up to date with what’s going on in the industry. It will also give them a voice because they will then be able to talk to us directly about things that affect them.

“For instance, if there are apprentices who are unhappy about the way the apprenticeship system is working hopefully they will feel, as part of the organisation, that they can speak to us about that.”

Hadassin said that in future the association might look into setting up an industry superannuation scheme for staff, and that employee membership could help make such a scheme work.

If the employee membership idea takes off, Hadassin said the JAA might consider introducing blogs as a method of communication. This, he believes, would help the association tap into the younger demographic that it sees as making up the workforce at this lower level in the industry.

“These employees are very much into the computer age, and would probably respond far better to blogs than our traditional member base,” he said.

Hadassin concluded: “This is about trying to provide as much exposure to the association for everybody.”

The new membership category will launch later this year, to coincide with the relaunch of the JAA’s website. Registration will only be available online.

The motion to create the new category was unanimously approved at the JAA’s August board meeting.

JAA board changes

The JAA’s members are due to vote in a new constitution at the Annual General Meeting on August 30, as it has been deemed that the old one was “contradictory” and “did not conform with the latest legislation”, making it difficult to administer.

JAA members are also set to approve three new board directors at the AGM: Lester Brand of Lester Brand Jewellery, Josh Zarb from Leading Edge Jewellers and Anthony Nash from Hoskings Jewellers.

Brand is set to replace Peter Beck, founder of manufacturing jewellers Peter W Beck, who will stand down from his role after four years on the board. Anthony Nash will become chair of the Retail Sector Council. He replaces Nationwide Jewellers chief executive Colin Pocklington, who will qualify for a board position under the new constitution as head of one of the three major Australian buying groups. For this reason, Zarb will join the board too.

The next JAA board meeting is scheduled for November 1, 2010.

Independent Jewellers Collective (IJC)

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