Polypipe, the manufacturer of underfloor heating systems, has officially launched a £250,000 training facility to inspire the next generation of budding heating professionals.
The Doncaster-based firm held the official opening of the state-of-the-art Polypipe Professional Development Centre (PDC) at Kirk Sandall in the town on Tuesday 25 September.
The facility features specially-designed training spaces to give trainee and experienced plumbing professionals the opportunity to improve their practical skills. It is set to become one of the UK’s leading training centres for professional heating engineers, installers, plumbers and merchants.
The courses on offer at the PDC include BPEC-accredited courses on installing warm water underfloor heating, apprenticeship training and guides to domestic ventilation product installation.
The PDC will also now be home to the technical design team and the new underfloor heating senior management team.
Rachel Smith, Polypipe Underfloor Heating general manager, 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.”
Dignitaries who attended the opening ceremony included Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones, Doncaster Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Dan Fell, and Cllr Bill Mordue, Doncaster Council cabinet member for business, skills and economic development.
Mr Fell said: “It was a pleasure to be at the opening of the Professional Development Centre with Mayor Ros Jones. A great facility that demonstrates Polypipe‘s massive commitment to training and people.”
Tracy Richardson, president of Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), presented a plaque to commemorate the centre being granted CIPHE-accredited status.
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.”