The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) and the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) have agreed to work more closely in a number of areas that will benefit the members of their respective organisations.
The core values of the two organisations are closely aligned, with both seeking to promote best practice and provide business and training support to members. They are also committed to raising the profile of reputable tradespeople within the plumbing and heating (P&H) sector
APHC operates a Licensing Scheme for its 1,000 installer members in England and Wales and BMF members can recommend them with confidence. APHC’s membership also includes a number of key suppliers, such as Worcester Bosch and Baxi, who are also active BMF members.
In recent years the BMF has strengthened its support for plumbing and heating merchant and supplier members, with initiatives such as a bi-annual P&H Forum that have been instrumental in encouraging many more specialist merchants and bathroom, plumbing and heating suppliers to play an active part in the BMF. John Thompson, chief executive of the APHC, has agreed to speak at a future BMF P&H meeting.
Both BMF and APHC understand the importance of attracting new recruits to their respective industries and each is planning to introduce enhanced apprenticeship schemes.
BMF MD, John Newcomb, said: “A key element of our alliance will involve sharing knowledge and experience on training and apprenticeships. The BMF is looking to set up sector-specific Trailblazer Apprentice schemes for different areas of merchanting. The APHC is at an advanced stage in the creation of a Trailblazer Apprentice scheme for installers, and is well placed to advise us as we progress our apprenticeship programme for P&H merchants.”
John added: “We see the relationship with the BMF as a key strategic trade alliance that supports the work that APHC has been doing in recent years in promoting the use of quality plumbing and heating contractors by the customer. The reputation of our members is often reliant on the effective supply of quality plumbing and heating materials by merchants and manufacturers throughout the supply chain. We know that by APHC members sourcing their material supplies from BMF members, they can rest assure that the highest standards of service – that can only enhance their reputation – will be provided to them.”