THE Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF) has appointed a regional support officer and business equality administrator.
The moves are designed to tackle skills shortages and increase diversity in the sector.
Gillian Macaulay has joined SNIPEF Training Services (STS) as regional support officer and Lorraine Doig has been appointed business and equality administrator. STS is the training subsidiary of SNIPEF, the managing agent and training provider for the Modern Apprenticeships in plumbing and heating in Scotland.
Gillian said, “Society needs plumbers, not only to help everyone carry on with their everyday lives and to prevent the spread of disease but also to fulfil the Government’s ambitious net-zero targets over the next 30 years. We need to act now to bridge the skills gap looming over the plumbing industry.
“We want to ensure that plumbing and heating businesses can continue to develop and thrive in a robust and sustainable industry. I have joined the STS team to help encourage more employers to take on an apprentice by communicating the numerous benefits that apprentices can bring to their businesses, and similarly, to promote the rewarding career opportunities presented to those who have undertaken a Modern Apprenticeship in plumbing and heating.
“For example, we have a breakfast webinar next week (Friday 27th August) aimed at employers which covers the subject of how to recruit an apprentice. Speakers will include SNIPEF member Michael Cairns, from Celsius Plumbing and Heating which has supported 10 apprentices over the years, Sam Thomson, faculty curriculum manager at Kelvin College, and Iain Winnard of Blair Plumbing who is an apprentice currently in training on our Modern Apprenticeship programme.”
Lorraine’s role as business and equality administrator was newly created and is aimed at streamlining the financial services of STS and generating a more diverse recruitment strategy for plumbing apprentices.
She said, “STS recognises the importance of having a diverse workforce, particularly within the construction industry, where there are a number of underrepresented groups. I will also be supporting our team of dedicated Regional Support Officers (RTO) who are based all over Scotland. Our RTOs work closely with plumbing apprentices and employers, monitoring each apprentice’s progress throughout the four-year apprenticeship.”
RTOs carry out reviews with apprentices and help to develop online training assessments to enable them to complete assessments in their home or workplace and help reduce the time lost in college.
Dale Thomson, training manager at SNIPEF, added, “With these two appointments SNIPEF is reinforcing its commitment to do everything in its power to tackle fairly the looming skill shortage. We understand that recruiting an apprentice can seem like a daunting task but when you register an apprentice with SNIPEF Training Services, you can be assured that with 38 years of experience we have supported thousands of apprentices in completing their training to become qualified plumbers. We are here to support individuals and employers from recruitment and throughout the four-year apprenticeship.
“If you are considering hiring an apprentice, you can get in touch with a member of the team on 0131 524 1245. There really has not been a better time to take on an apprentice.”