Worcester, Bosch Group has opened a brand new training facility in Normanton, near Wakefield, to provide better support and an improved training experience for installer, specifier and merchant customers based in the north of England.
The training centre is part of a £1.2 million investment by Bosch UK, which sees Worcester sharing a 3.6 acre site with Bosch Rexroth. The new facility will offer an entire suite of Worcester training courses for heating engineers and service technicians across all of its core product ranges, from gas and oil-fired boilers through to solar thermal panels and a wide variety of heat pump technologies.
As well as product training, the centre will deliver a number of regulatory courses that Worcester has added to its portfolio in recent years. These include the unvented hot water storage cylinder installation qualification and the delivery of OFTEC training and assessments for oil-fired boiler installations. Worcester will also offer a number of additional training packages for installers keen to comply with government schemes, such as the Microgeneration Certification Scheme and the Green Deal.
Featuring five fully equipped workshops, the facility includes a large Greenstar gas training room, incorporating light commercial gas equipment alongside domestic gas-fired boilers. Within the gas training room, Worcester has installed a large number of boilers so that every installer attending a training course will have their own boiler to work on, as opposed to sharing appliances, in order to gain valuable hands-on experience using live appliances.
The centre also has a dedicated Greenstar oil-fired boiler workshop and a Greenskies solar thermal workshop with a large pitched roof and scaffolding in place to offer trainees a realistic experience of working with solar panels at height. As well as this, there is a fully operational heat pump room, which features the full range of Worcester heat pumps. The training centre is home to a commercial training room as well, which is designed to showcase the larger industrial boilers offered by Bosch Commercial.
An additional four rooms are due to open in early 2014, which have not yet been completed but will be used for domestic and commercial ACS assessments once completed. One of these rooms will feature old gas appliances that are no longer available in Worcester’s product portfolio but that installers may find themselves servicing in people’s homes.
Phil Bunce, training manager at Worcester, Bosch Group, said: “As well as the continual development and manufacture of high-efficiency heating technologies, Worcester is dedicated to training installers to help keep them up to date with the latest product developments and legislative change. The centre concentrates on our core product offerings, however we also have an eye on the future with the facility purposely being larger than what we presently need. This means that as our portfolio increases and renewables start to prosper, we have the room for expansion.
“With the opening of our new Wakefield centre, we aim to train double the number of installers we train in the north of the country to around 1,600 installers in 2014. Last year alone, we trained around 18,500 installers at our various training facilities around the UK.”
Worcester also has a fleet of six mobile gas and oil training vehicles available to deliver training at local merchant branches or direct to local installer businesses that may require training to be conducted at their own premises.