19 August 2016 BY: DARRAN SMITH
By Darran Smith, Technical Manager at Alpha Heating Innovation
I often get asked what frustrates me most in my job as Technical Manager.  The short answer would be: a perceived lack of understanding of the importance of training.  The longer answer would begin by acknowledging that the reason people don’t attend training is, more often than not, simply down to the pressures of work and other time centric factors.  However, right now there is a need to begin to change current mind-sets by communicating the value of consistent, high quality training in the workplace.
Along with many other sectors these days, the heating industry is suffering from a noticeable skills shortage, and the lack of continual training is definitely a factor.  This is concerning, bearing in mind how quickly legislation, processes and technology change and advance in the industry, the knowledge and skills required to provide an expected service are falling by the wayside.
So how does this impact the wider workforce?  Well, for a start both customers and installers are affected.  Our customers may find themselves paying more for installers that are most in demand because of their skillset, and installers may lose out on jobs where their skillset doesn’t meet the project or customer’s needs.  Either way, the lack of training is significant.
Installers themselves need to place a greater importance on continual training, and this requires some reconditioning in two main areas – the value of being comprehensively trained combined with making time to actually attend training sessions.  Only then can installers ensure that the service they offer is consistently high.
Next to consider, is the focus of the training itself. Product knowledge is obviously tantamount to being able to do the job efficiently.  Training on wider issues such as regulation and safety are also essential as it helps to ensure that installers are fulfilling legal requirements while continuing to make customers’ safety a top priority. 
At Alpha Academy, we really strive to help installers fulfil all training requirements and as such provide a comprehensive course that not only helps improve attendees’ knowledge of Alpha boilers and products, but many other aspects of the industry as well.
But in order for workers to feel really passionate about training again, as well as receiving the most current and up-to-date industry skills and knowledge available, courses should be interactive and fun to attend.  And at Alpha Academy – we’ve got that covered!