NMBS Conference: Installer training opens opportunities

Published:  22 June, 2012

SPAIN: Chris Hopkins, managing director of Ploughcroft Training and Dragon's Den winner, explained how installers and merchants can work together through training.

Mr Hopkins has run Ploughcroft Roofing and Building since the 1980s, but saw a need for training in the early 2000s. Builders trained by builders became his goal and he developed NVQ courses to do just that, training even his own competitors. Subsequently, Mr Hopkins went into renewables, and identified the same need for builders to be trained in renewables, with NVQ courses in place and a Green Deal course currently in development.

Where merchants can take advantage and become a center of renewable knowledge, said Mr Hopkins, a builder and roofer by trade himself, is to ask: 'What does the customer want?'.

  • Someone in branch who can provide information on how to proceed
  • Does the branch stock PAS 2030 measure or how long is the lead-time?
  • What costs or guarantees do these products carry?
  • Who can train them, where and at what cost?
  • How does the customer get accredited?
  • How long does accreditation take?
  • How much will it cost an average SME builder to get qualified and accredited?

There are a lot of products on the DECC Green Deal approval list, and by helping the Green Deal Installer to become accredited, merchants are investing in their own futures.

It is also important, said Mr Hopkins, to partner with Green Deal Assessors, providing a one-stop shop. And finally, to find ways of partnering with Green Deal Providers.

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