BMF Training zone: October

BMF Training zone: October

The BMF continually looks to improve and expand the range of courses on offer to support members in developing their teams’ skills and knowledge. Indeed, BMF training is one of the top five reasons members give for joining. The recent BMF Awards Dinner in September recognised a number of merchant businesses and individuals to have shown exceptional commitment to training and development.

Following the BMF Members’ Annual Conference which took place last month at the St George’s Park National Football Centre in Burton upon Trent, the BMF Awards Dinner recognises a number of talented individuals and committed companies in developing talent and driving the industry forwards.

In an Award proudly sponsored by PBM, this year’s BMF Training Company of the Year is Howarth Timber and Building Supplies, with Dumfries Timber Company taking the Honorary Achievers Award.

Howarth Timber and Building Supplies demonstrated its support for team development with a training programme encompassing both formal and informal routes. For a company with just over 30 branches, Howarth has no fewer than 15 team members undertaking the BMF Diploma in Merchant Management course, which equips candidates with key managerial skills that they can immediately apply back at work.

Howarth also has 22 apprentices supported by the BMF Apprenticeships Plus Levy Management Service and has purchased 100 BMF Building Blocks modules to introduce them to the intricacies of life in a builders’ merchant. The online training programme builds into a comprehensive guide both to the industry and the products stocked and sold.

In addition, Howarth encourages team members to build knowledge through informal routes such as participating in BMF’s specialist Forums — including Timber, Plumbing & Heating, Bricks, Blocks & Landscaping and Marketing — and attending key events including the recent Conference in Dubrovnik and the first BMF Young Merchants Conference in 2018.

Honorary Achievers Award

Operating from three branches, Dumfries Timber is one of the BMF’s smaller merchant members but it has consistently punched above its weight in developing its team. It is the only BMF member in Scotland to have participated in BMF training programmes in each of the last six years, whilst training extends across every level of the business from Apprenticeships to the BMF Diploma — with two team members within each of these programmes.

Dumfries Timber also utilised BMF’s two and four day courses including the Yard Foreman’s Toolkit, How a House is Built, the Margin Improvement Programme and Management Training. Finally, on a pro-rata basis, it has consistently provided more BMF training per employee than any other member in its region.

Young Achievers

The BMF Awards Dinner also celebrated the achievements of Apprentices and those taking the next steps up their chosen career ladder. Nathan Jones of South Coast Building Supplies has been recognised as BMF Apprentice of the Year Level 2. Nathan is undertaking a Trade Supplier apprenticeship through the BMF ATA and, after six months in the warehouse followed by six months on the trade counter, he has shown professionalism in both areas.

He has also embraced independent learning, seeking opportunities to enhance his knowledge and improve performance, including enhancements to the trade counter showroom.

Tom Savage of Wickham Blackwell is the BMF Apprentice of the Year Level 3. Tom’s apprenticeship as a Business Administrator has involved some challenging tasks, but he has retained a positive attitude to his studies throughout. Described by colleagues as a “pleasure to work with”, he is organised, hardworking and embraces every opportunity to learn and meet targets.

Finally, Jane Axford of Tamar Trading was named Best BMF Diploma Student, while Cameron Clarke of Longwater Supply is the best BMF Building Blocks Learner.

Congratulations to all BMF Award winners.

To find out more about any aspect of BMF training, call  02456 854980, or visit 

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