National President's half-yearly report
The Institute of Estate Agents' membership is increasing and its finances are improving, IEA national president Bill Rawson said in his recent half-yearly report to the organisation's national board. Membership has increased by 11 percent, and the institute's bank balance has grown by 22 percent, which Rawson described as "healthy". The IEA is a voluntary organisation, established in 1937 to promote the interests of the estate agency industry. It should not be confused with the Estate Agency Affairs Board, a statutory board set up by the government in 1977 (after forty years of lobbying by the IEA) to regulate the industry and protect consumer interests. In recent months, Rawson has been touring the country to promote the formation of an employers' association for the property industry. Such an organisation - which would be separate from the IEA - would bring the industry into line with current labour relations practices. "The response has been positive," said Rawson, "and we will soon be in a position to hold the inaugural meeting and establish the organisation." The unit standards for national real estate qualifications have been finalised by the education authorities, and the IEA intends to open a National Training Academy to provide the necessary training to the industry. "We are going to organise an industry petition to the Department of Trade and Industry," said Rawson, "to introduce minimum educational requirements for entry into the industry, and advancement within it. We would like standards similar to those which the Financial Services Board has introduced into the insurance industry." Some progress has been made towards industry and IEA transformation. "The Western Cape region is currently busy with its second mentorship programme, after the runaway success of the pilot project launched last year," said Rawson. "and Services SETA has confirmed that it will finance the expansion of this programme to all regions." Before the IEA's annual general meeting later this year, said Rawson, the IEA national board needs to finalise the formation of the employers' association, launch the mentoring programme nationally, and set up the National Training Academy.
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