Plumbing and heating organisations and other stakeholders gathered recently to discuss how the industry could work collectively to address training and skills issues.
During the event, hosted by the Plumbing & Heating Skills Partnership (PHSP), attendees were briefed on the skills activity currently taking place across the UK and asked what future skills needs the industry might have.
The PHSP, established by the APHC, BPEC and SNIPEF, launched earlier in the year following the closure of SummitSkills. Led by employers, it has responsibility for the skills needs of the industry and works closely with partner organisations on projects to benefit the plumbing and heating workforce.
Colleges and training providers, government agencies, trade associations and plumbing employers were included in the audience. After hearing about the existing skills developments across the industry, delegates were asked to consider what are the key skills challenges facing plumbing and heating, and how the could industry work together to develop solutions.
Issues around consistency of standards, qualifications and apprenticeships across the UK were seen as important – as well as, implementation of the new plumbing trailblazer apprenticeship in England, funding arrangements and skills planning for the future. The group concluded by identifying the key priorities for 2018 and showed a willingness to contribute to skills development activity in the future.
George Thomson, The Shower Doctor and chairman of the PHSP, said: “I’m delighted at how many organisations attended – this was our first event and we wanted it to be as inclusive as possible. It was great to receive a positive response in the discussion groups, there was a clear common desire for all parties to work together for the benefit of the plumbing and domestic heating industry.”
Future events will be held to continue the work started and progress the skills development work being carried out by the PHSP. A new website – www.phsp.org.uk – has been established to keep the industry informed of skills projects and the different activity in place around the UK.