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LEEA celebrates 75 years with forward vision

Ross Moloney, CEO of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) unveils the association’s exciting plans to celebrate its 75-year history by looking to the future. LEEA is commemorating its first meeting, held on 3 June 1944, when nine people representing eight chain testing houses met at the Great Eastern Hotel, near Liverpool Street Station in London.

LEEA celebrates 75 years with forward vision


Ross Moloney, CEO of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) unveils the association’s exciting plans to celebrate its 75-year history by looking to the future.

LEEA is commemorating its first meeting, held on 3 June 1944, when nine people representing eight chain testing houses met at the Great Eastern Hotel, near Liverpool Street Station in London. It was at this meeting that the idea to form an association to take on the might of government was conceived. The name they chose was ‘The London Chain Testers Association’, which would eventually go on change its name to the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association in 1988.

Not many trade associations can claim to be still growing in their 75th year, but this is the situation we enjoy at LEEA. When I took over the hot seat in January 2018, LEEA was clearly a strong organisation and since I’ve been here, the fantastic team I work with, the Board and our members have all pulled together to take the association to the next level. Last year was full of real highs of which we should be rightfully proud, with more training, more employer visits than ever before and our membership growing across the world.

The inaugural LEEA Awards was a personal high point for me. The success of this ambitious project was due to the efforts of all those involved and, crucially, a fantastic response from the membership. In this special year for us, we are planning to deliver an evening that will be bigger and better and I’m delighted that Rachel Riley will grace the event as the Awards presenter.

It is important that LEEA marks its 75th anniversary in an appropriate way. Making a difference and leaving a mark is in our association’s DNA, so after careful consideration, we have devised a suite of initiatives worthy of our special year.

First, we are looking to deliver more and better in our key areas. A vital part of this will be enhancing the audit process, which we are working on and will soon be announcing. Our audits are going to increase in their technical content and they will make it harder to join LEEA, thus further raising the bar of membership. Evidence of paperwork will still be required but this will be handled effectively via online portals – when LEEA staff are on site we want them to be doing specialist, technical work.

This year we will be conducting more training than ever before as well as more online training. We will be out delivering training at our members’ facilities. The technical triage system is up and running. This year we will have responded to 1000 technical queries with 48 hours of submission. That is an achievement to be proud of. But likewise we will launch the 9th edition of the COPSULE (Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment).

There will, of course, be the annual LEEA Golf Day and Speedy will deliver what promises to be a great event at Mottram Hall in Cheshire on the 11th of July.

By far the most obvious set-piece of this 75th year is the Parliamentary Reception on 17th July, which will be hosted by Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly.

We were thrilled to welcome Jonathan to our training facility in October last year. We had the chance to talk to him about the needs of the industry and the hopes and plans of the association. Clearly we were thrilled when Jonathan offered to host a reception for us in the Palace of Westminster this summer. As well as giving us a chance to celebrate LEEA’s anniversary, we will also have the opportunity to talk about the future.

And it doesn’t stop there.For the past few years we have held the LEEA AGM at LiftEx in November. This year we will move it to 10 September, to be held at the Huntingdon office. We will invite all members to attend and meet the LEEA Board and team but we will also throw open our doors and create an opportunity for visitors to see the facilities, network with each other and discuss ideas and thoughts on how we can improve. Timings will follow.

It is important to LEEA that we are also taking a different approach to marking our special year by looking ahead to the next 75 years. We want to look beyond business as usual and do something special that will create an ongoing legacy – so we have developed three special initiatives.


  1. Think Lifting Schools Engagement Programme

One of the emerging concerns in our industry, and in this we’re not unique, is where the next generation of employees will come from? So we are developing a variety of tools to help our members to engage with local schools and young people. Together we will be able to introduce the industry, and the opportunities within it, to the next wave of young recruits.


  1. The Apprenticeship Standard.

The Apprenticeship standard will create a pathway into the sector, one that helps us to generate demand and interest in the industry with the help of government funding. This is clearly a great thing. The Trailblazer Working Group (TWG) has been established, meeting initially at LiftEx in 2018 followed by further meetings in 2019. Chaired by Kat Moss from Catena, who is both the Chair of the LEEA Learning & Development Committee and a member of the LEEA Board, work on the Standard is expected to be completed in the autumn.

Apprenticeships have been around for a long time and it is right that we should now take ownership of this opportunity as a key part of our plan to address the sustainability issues that our industry faces in terms of people and skills. Our members have grabbed this chance and are cracking on with driving the opportunity forward.


  1. 75–75 Military Transition Scheme

We are delighted to announce the roll out of our 75–75 project. Many of our members work with the defence supply chain, and indeed several of the LEEA team have served in the forces. This year LEEA is proud to announce that it is offering free training to 75 military leavers or reservists. We know military leavers’ skills, behaviour and attitudes would make great additions to our industry’s workforce. So when they leave the forces we want to improve the pathway into the industry.

A clear way that LEEA can do this is to offer training to people who have given service to their country. We know that many personnel in the military have experience in the lifting world and we want to support their formal career development. In this way we will deliver free training to 75 people. This will be at whatever level is most appropriate. Ideally we will offer free places in our usual classes, but if necessary, LEEA will organise and deliver specially scheduled classes on or near military bases.

In addition to our training offer, LEEA’s membership will provide 75 work placements to leavers and reservists. We expect the work placements to be a chance for individuals to gain an in-depth understanding of the industry and the opportunities available to them. Of course, this placement will enhance employability and we hope that our members might see this as a chance, not just to support military leavers looking to become more employable, but we also hope that we’ll be able to report that some of the 75 have secured employment with our members.

These projects are all initially being rolled out in UK and are expected to be introduced internationally in 2020. We believe they are in keeping with the intentions of LEEA’s founders but, vitally, are also very relevant to current members and, most importantly, are measures that we think will go on to have a long lasting legacy.

For further details on these schemes please contact: