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Saint-Gobain opens new tech academy

Saint-Gobain has launched its sixth Technical Academy, following a successful open day at its facilities in Flitwick, Bedfordshire

Posted by Dave Higgitt | March 30, 2014 | People, policy, politics, money

Senior Vice-President for Sustainable Habitat and General Delegate Saint-Gobain UK, Ireland & South Africa, Peter Hindle MBE and Didier Roux, Saint-Gobain Vice-President for Research and Innovation performed the opening ceremony, which included a keynote speech from CPA deputy chief executive and industry affairs director, John Tebbit. All guests were given a tour of the new facilities, as well as practical demonstrations of some of the latest innovative products and training methods.  

Forming a crucial part of the work Saint-Gobain is undertaking to address the performance gap, its latest facility provides technical training and raises awareness of innovative building solutions.

Helping to address the current skills shortage in the construction industry, as well as aiding the understanding of how poorly installed products can impact on the overall performance of a building, the Saint-Gobain Technical Academy will run a comprehensive range of training and specialist up-skilling courses from across the Saint-Gobain brands.

With a successful network already operating in Ireland and throughout England, the multi-purpose centre within Saint-Gobain Weber has been developed to feature innovation and product demonstration areas, practical workshops, lecture rooms and meeting facilities, catering for up to 1,000 trainees per year.

The courses from Saint-Gobain companies, including Weber, British Gypsum, Isover, PAM and Pasquill, are designed for 10 to 15 candidates and cover a range of topics from External Wall Insulation (EWI), Internal Wall Insulation (IWI), renders and tiling to concrete repair, construction mortars, roofing, pipework and flooring.

Managing director for Weber, Pádraig Barry, commented: “The facility is aligned to the Saint-Gobain Technical Academy network and offers training on a wide range of products and systems from a number of Saint-Gobain brands. The decision to invest in the Flitwick site creates a more accessible location for installers and trade professionals operating in central and southern regions.

“The construction market is believed to need approximately 180,000 more workers to deliver the planned housing and infrastructure projects by 2018. Part of the Saint-Gobain Technical Academy’s role is to facilitate this need but crucially it will also ensure that new and current trade professionals are of the highest calibre, trained on innovative and sustainable systems and have the opportunity to up-skill. Through our work with various partners, Saint-Gobain is currently conducting research into the efficiency lost through poorly installed products and believes training is a vital area when tackling this issue.

“We have long advocated the importance of innovation for the construction market and also for the development of a sustainable built environment, and we believe that the Saint-Gobain Technical Academy will become a real showcase for the forward-thinking solutions and initiatives Saint-Gobain is developing.”

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