UK Asbestos Training Association welcomes its first international member
The UK’s leading authority for asbestos training, the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA), has welcomed its first international member from Kosovo.
Professor Mimoza Dugolli of Pristina University and manager of Kaizen Environment is now the only provider of asbestos awareness training in Kosovo despite the fact the use of asbestos has been prohibited in in the country since 2005.
Professor Mimoza Dugolli, who is an asbestos trained architect, has worked on many projects including United Nations’ rebuild projects following the Balkan conflicts in the 1990s, and energy efficiency projects for public buildings in Kosovo, will now deliver asbestos awareness training not only in Kosovo but to other Balkan countries that also have no asbestos regulatory bodies.
Explaining why she chose to become a member of UKATA, Professor Dugolli said: “Although I could have gone to other countries for asbestos awareness training, UKATA was the only quality provider where I could become a trainer myself and enable me to deliver much-needed asbestos awareness training.”
Professor Dugolli, who has written a number of academic papers on asbestos safety in Kosovo, added: “Currently in Kosovo there is a huge gap in legislation framework where asbestos is concerned. Most of the industrial complexes and buildings in Kosovo constructed both before and after the war contain asbestos. Unfortunately, Kosovo has been very slow on adapting and preparing specific laws, rules and regulations relating to asbestos, so there is a severe training shortfall in the country.
“Becoming a UKATA member gives me the opportunity to organise and offer asbestos awareness training in Kosovo and other countries like us that lack regulatory bodies. I see asbestos awareness training as a starting point and hope to expand the future training offering to include asbestos removal.”
Professor Dugolli completed her application to UKATA virtually during lockdown. “I received superb support whilst applying and the process was excellent. I even learnt a few new facts and can’t wait to start sharing my knowledge. There is a big job ahead of us,” she commented.
UKATA’s Chief Operating Officer, Craig Evans, added: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Dugolli to UKATA and would like to congratulate her on becoming our first international UKATA-approved training provider.
“Professor Dugolli’s commitment to raising awareness of the dangers of this deadly material in her country is highly commendable and we wish her every success and are delighted that we are able to assist in her mission.
“Asbestos is an incredibly dangerous material when handled incorrectly which is why widespread training is so important. The UK and UKATA has long strived to remain at the forefront of asbestos training and awareness since use of the mineral was banned in this
country in 1999. Hearing about a shortfall in legislation in countries like Kosovo, highlights the progress we have made both as an industry and country over the last 20 years.”
Since being established in 2008, UKATA has gone from strength to strength, now numbering more than 190-member organisations from all corners of the UK and now also in Kosovo who, together, deliver asbestos training to in excess of 200,000 people each year.