Polypipe opens underfloor heating training centre

Polypipe opens underfloor heating training centre

This month’s showcase of skills investment features on the opening of Polypipe’s new underfloor heating training centre, whilst PBM also reports on the launch of a Graduate Commercial Trainee Programme by the Builders Merchants Company and the unveiling of the Talasey Training Academy.


Polypipe has officially launched a £250,000 training facility to inspire the next generation of budding heating professionals, with the Doncaster-based firm holding the official opening of the state-of-the-art Polypipe Professional Development Centre (PDC) at Kirk Sandall in the town in late September.

The facility features specially-designed training spaces to give trainee and experienced plumbing professionals — including heating engineers, installers, plumbers and merchants — the opportunity to improve their practical skills. Courses on offer at the PDC include BPEC-accredited sessions on installing warm water underfloor heating, apprenticeship training and guides to domestic ventilation product installation.

The PDC will also now be home to the supplier’s technical design team and the new underfloor heating senior management team.

With an increasing consumer demand for underfloor heating, the full BPEC training courses are available to merchants interested in becoming specialist stockists in underfloor heating. Polypipe has been running these courses with representatives from merchants training alongside plumbers from their own patch.

Being BPEC accredited ensures that merchant branches can keep up to date on the industry’s technological advances and regulatory requirements, and have the knowledge to meet the changing needs of the plumbing and heating industry.

Rachel Smith, General Manager of Polypipe Underfloor Heating, said: “We are naturally delighted to fully open this wonderful facility. We want to further strengthen our position as the market leader for underfloor heating solutions and a key part of that is the level of service and support we offer to our trade customers. Offering accredited training and development for heating professionals is a key part of that support.

“The new PDC will also help us tackle the skills gap head on by working with schools and colleges to help train the plumbers of the future. It will also ensure that Polypipe continues to serve the local and national workforce by developing new talent. We hope that the centre will demonstrate just how much training plays a fundamental role in our business model for many years to come.”

Polypipe has a strong focus on investment in professional training and development, having relaunched its Registered Heating Engineer Network (RHEN) earlier this year, which provides heating engineers and plumbers with free access to training courses and events, and helps small firms generate new business.

Rachel added: “Our partnership with heating engineers is founded on the skills, expertise and professionalism within the plumbing and heating sector and we want to support that in the best way possible. By making the RHEN free to join, we want to open our training courses and aftercare business support to a wider demographic of professionals, helping them to achieve their business goals in 2018 by offering new services to their customers.

“This support network works best when the heating engineers, merchants and Polypipe are all working together and so we ask merchants to nominate plumbers and heating engineers from their area who are interested in having the training and joining the RHEN. Connections are built as everyone undergoes the training together, along with their Polypipe Area Heating Manager.

“This means that the locality is served by a knowledgeable stockist, qualified heating engineers and a supportive Polypipe heating manager. Everybody, including the end customer, wins.”

Builders Merchant Company

BMC has announced the launch of its Graduate Commercial Trainee Programme, which is tailored to offering talented young people the opportunity to develop their skills in the sector in two main areas — Sales and Operations — to allow each person to specialise and develop their own area of expertise.

At the end of the programme it is hoped that the candidates will be in a position to develop through the Branch Management Structure, or alternatively become a successful Sales Manager within the company.

BMC has already embarked upon the recruitment process, with new commercial trainee Adis Talic joining the team as a graduate of Sheffield Hallam University. He said: “I am proud to be a part of the new team being developed and am incredibly enthusiastic for the opportunities that lay ahead of me. Builders Merchant Company is a company with a positive outlook and a forward-thinking group of individuals at the helm steering the company in the right direction and always looking to improve.”

MD, Duncan Thomson, added: “It is a fantastic opportunity for young people to establish themselves within the merchant industry, and to develop a career suited to their own personal skillset. Being able to offer a training programme like this offers us the opportunity to secure talented youngsters who will help contribute to the growth strategy within the company, offering fresh new ideas which we may not have considered previously.”

Talasey Group

The Talasey Training Academy (TTA) began rolling out its City & Guilds accredited courses in purpose-built facilities based at its Doncaster headquarters this summer. Each course on offer as part of the formally accredited training has been designed by Talasey Group to support a wide range of industry professionals, from college students and installers to designers and landscape architects, through to customer-facing staff in builders’ merchants who are looking to develop further skills and industry knowledge.

The range of courses on offer cover how to install, maintain, and get the most out of a wide range of landscaping products in domestic applications including natural stone, clay, and porcelain paving systems, plus resin bound aggregate systems and artificial turf. Basic site setting out and preparation is also covered.

Hannah Mounsey, Training Administrator at the TTA, said: “These courses are designed to keep landscaping professionals up to date with the latest trends and developments in the industry, particularly in products and installation ideas, empowering them to bring their future projects to life with maximum impact.”

Dedicated training facilities, classrooms and demonstration areas have been installed at the company’s headquarters in Sandtoft near Doncaster to provide optimum course delivery with plans also in place to roll out further training opportunities in the future at different locations throughout the UK.


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