Hull manufacturer Ideal Boilers and Derby-based Pink Plumbing have joined forces to develop a local specialised training academy for women in the plumbing and heating industry and are urging merchants to back the project.
Founder of Pink Plumbing, Philippa Cunningham created her female-only plumbing company in 2008, following a successful 20-year career as a teacher, and has now set her sights on improving access to training for women who wish to pursue a career in plumbing.
“I’m aiming high – I want to change the face of the construction industry,” said Cunningham. “I want to make it so that women can enter the industry more easily and know that there will be a strong support network in place for them. I want to help women build their careers, build their own businesses.”
As part of this long-term ambition, Cunningham is currently establishing her own training academy in Derby with the support of Ideal Boilers. She said: “The support I’m already receiving from the industry is fantastic. Ideal has been alongside me from the start of this project, helping with funding for the building, supplying boilers for the trainees to work on and providing invaluable support, advice and encouragement.”
Carrie Young, Ideal’s head of marketing says, “It’s great to see Philippa’s passion and to work alongside someone who has such ambition to encourage more women into our industry.
“We’re proud of our role in raising standards in training and assessment within the industry and pleased to support Philippa as she works towards this in Derby. We encourage other manufacturers, suppliers, merchants and plumbers to get behind this fantastic project as well. The industry must pull together to ensure the long-term career prospects of high quality female would-be plumbing and heating engineers.”