The domestic repair, maintenance and home improvement sector is large, diverse and fragmented.
Consumers need a simple mechanism for identifying reputable tradespeople who meet a set of straightforward competence and customer care standards.
Every year trading standards officers receive greater numbers of complaints about building work than about any other sector; they outstrip complaints about the second highest category, second-hand car dealers. TrustMark can provide a solution and I congratulate you, the industry, for recognising the need for action and the need to protect customers from cowboy traders. A recognised national standard will give added confidence to your customers, which can only benefit your businesses.
Both Which? and the Trading Standards Institute have given their backing. I'm pleased the government has supported and facilitated this scheme. We committed £2m to set it up and support it while it becomes established. There is clear appetite for the scheme from industry and consumers, and there will never be a better time for you to drive this initiative forward.
Every year trading standards officers receive greater numbers of complaints about building work than about any other sector; they outstrip complaints about the second highest category, second-hand car dealers
A broad cross-section of the industry is actively involved in its development and promotion. I am pleased that the first wave of TrustMark operators has already been approved, paving the way for the registration of a significant number of firms across a range of trades. These firms are making a clear statement of their commitment to improved standards. I applaud their example and urge others to follow it.
Now it is up to all of you to take it to the next stage and sign up. Only enthusiastic and consistent construction industry involvement and support will make TrustMark a success and help to drive up standards. The government supports the industry and its efforts. We helped this scheme to get off the ground, but we are not offering our support blindly. There is a real opportunity here and the challenge to the industry is to ensure that it succeeds and that we see the continued strong growth of TrustMark.
Rt Hon Margaret Hodge
Minister for Industry and the Regions at the DTI