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How the plumbing trade can attract more women to STEM roles

Plumbing trade – female engineer with a male co-worker

Jacqueline Gallazzi-Ritchie is the director of boiler cover provider All England Gas. Here, she discusses what the plumbing trade can do to get more women into STEM positions.

Historically, STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects have been largely dominated by men. Although, research has shown that the number of women graduating in core STEM subjects is slowly rising. From 2017–2018, the percentage of STEM graduates that were female increased from 25% to 26%, but this amount is still far too low when you consider that women make up half of the world’s population (WISE).

Demand for smart meter training soars

Gavin Davies of DTL, which offers smart meter training

Demand for smart meter training is heating up as firms race to meet the recent smart metering equipment technical specification 2 (SMETS 2), reports utilities specialist Develop Training Limited (DTL).

The government has called on energy companies to replace all old-style gas and electricity meters with smart meters.

But the roll out to 36 million households and small firms has been hit by delays, largely due to a shortage of skilled installers, and now DTL says the new SMETS2 standard has taken the demand for training to a new level.

Pumps Mean Points For Installers

Pumps Mean Points For Installers

SALAMANDER Pumps is promoting its latest incentive scheme which rewards installers who choose pumps from its wide range of brass, shower-specific whole-house and mains boosting pumps.


The loyalty scheme is part of Salamander’s long term commitment to developing a two-way partnership between itself and installers, which includes training, support and a technical advice helpline.


It forms part of Salamander’s ‘Added Benefits’ campaign, which launched in January and is designed to cement its position as the ‘plumber’s partner’ and a manufacturer which listens to feedback and puts the installer at the heart of everything it does.

Develop Training Ltd

Develop Training Ltd

Develop Training Ltd (DTL) is the UK’s leading accredited provider of Compliance, Technical, and Safety training and has already made significant strides to address smart metering training needs in the energy sector.

The UK Government has challenged energy providers to install smart meters in the homes of all domestic customers and small business by the end of 2020. Although there are less than 4 years remaining The Times reported in December 2016 that in excess of 48 million meters are still to be installed.


Part of the problem for the energy supplies is their lack of trained engineers, but DTL is positioned and ready to play its part to help.

Looking to gain new skills? 100 training rewards are now up for grabs.

Looking to gain new skills? 100 training rewards are now up for grabs.

Plumbing and heating engineers are being encouraged to gain new skills through a new reward scheme.
The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (Training) Ltd., has 100 training rewards worth £150 each to give away to plumbing and heating companies.

The registered educational charity and sister company to the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC), says its aim is to help safeguard the long term professional development of the industry by incentivising plumbing and heating engineers to update and expand their knowledge.
The reward can be used for a certificated course with a recognised training provider such as APHC, BPEC, City and Guilds and all UKAS approved ACS providers.

HomeServe launches new Gas Development Academy after plumbers pipe up!

HomeServe launches new Gas Development Academy after plumbers pipe up!

Walsall-based HomeServe launches new Gas Development Academy for its plumbing and drainage engineers  

Plumbers will be able to train as gas engineers through HomeServe’s career development programme.


Home assistance provider, HomeServe, has launched a new Gas Development Academy which will provide career opportunities for its network of plumbing and drainage engineers to train as fully qualified gas engineers, as well as achieving Gas Safe status.

The launch of the new academy marks HomeServe’s ongoing commitment to career development and investment in multi-skilling its growing network of directly employed engineers – which now totals almost 1,000 across the UK.

APHC questions fesibility of ofqual plans for development of vocational qualifications

APHC questions fesibility of ofqual plans for development of vocational qualifications

APHC has expressed doubts about the feasibility of plans for the development of vocational qualifications, following a speech made by Phil Beach CBE in collaboration with Ofqual last week. Speaking at the GovNet Skills and Employability Summit, Mr Beach discussed the development of vocational qualifications and assessments, suggesting how trust in them might be maintained in a period of reform.


Mr Beach begun his speech by detailing the many changes occurring in the vocational qualifications sector, in particular the Post-16 Skills Plan which has been designed to provide 16-19 year olds with valued routes into the workplace and the new trailblazer apprenticeship standards.


Water quality in communal heating systems



With a wealth of experience supplying heat interface units to communal and district heating systems, Giacomini UK is able to offer dedicated technical assistance and advice on how to achieve the best results.

In this article Giacomini UK’s technical support manager, Helen Gibbons, discusses the importance of water quality in communal heating systems. With the support of her Giacomini colleagues, Helen is hoping to increase understanding of how to protect vital components within communal or district heating systems from damage caused by debris in the system. Ensuring optimum performance and functionality over the system’s lifetime.