The Newport branch of Robert Price Builders’ Merchants recently received a visit from Vaughan Gething MS to discuss the net zero carbon challenge.
The Minister for Economy, who is also MS for Cardiff South and Penarth, was welcomed by Robert Price MD William Godfrey and Sales Director David Pattison to the Sustainable Energy Centre within the branch. Discussing how South Wales’ largest independent builders’ merchant is helping to upskill staff and trades within the construction industry on the path to net zero, he was given a tour of the SEC and the various product solution zones displayed there before attending a training session on Heat Pump installation in the branch’s training academy.
Handing the trainees their course completion certificates, Mr Gething said: “The Welsh Government is building a stronger, fairer, greener Wales, where no one is left behind. We need to embrace new technologies and construction methods to grow a skilled workforce and build long term quality jobs as we transition to a net zero economy.
“I am therefore delighted to see how Robert Price is helping upskill our workforce with the knowledge and practical training that will help us on our decarbonisation journey. This will ultimately drive a stronger, more competitive Welsh economy by narrowing the skills divide, boosting good jobs and tackling inequality.”
The builders’ merchant opened the Sustainable Energy Centre in 2022 in response to the ever-growing demand for product information and training in sustainable building technologies. To date the facility has offered over 10,000 hours of product, legislation and installation training to operatives, tradespeople, social housing providers and local councils.
Kassie Williams, Sustainable Partnerships Manager, explained: “Social housing suppliers and other construction companies were telling us they wanted to learn more about the various decarbonisation products available but there was nowhere providing joined up solutions. Working with specialist manufacturers, we decided to set up the Sustainable Energy Centre.
“We now have numerous product solutions on display in a dedicated showroom and we hold regular open days, training events and seminars for operatives, tradespeople, housing developers, social housing providers and local councils.”
Main image (top): David Pattison, Kassie Williams, Vaughan Gething MS, Eve Bruten, William Godfrey
Above: Kassie Williams explains the history of the Sustainable Energy Centre to Vaughan Gething MS