Bathroom and kitchen manufacturer Grohe plans to train 5,000 plumbing students, expanding training across more than 50 schools or colleges, in the EMENA region.
It is part of the Grohe Installer Vocational Training and Education (GIVE) program, which was established because of a shortage of skilled installers, and rolled out across EMENA in 2021.
The GIVE program has now provided training facilities for almost 40 educational institutions across the EMENA region.
Now the company plans to boost this figure to more than 50 schools and colleges across the EMENA region, including its first facilities in North West Africa in Ghana.
Grohe has provided equipment, training materials and a written examination with internationally recognised qualification.
In addition, after students have completed their Grohe training, they will be given a small tool kit and assisted with work experience at one of the company’s industry partners or with job placements.
Speaking about the rationale of the GIVE program in a GroheX panel discussion, Leader Lixil EMENA Jonas Brenwald said: “We want to share the knowledge and experience we have gained in the last 80 years in the industry with young professionals.
“We would like to strengthen the sanitaryware profession and help our customers find and train new employees.
“But what is especially close to my heart is with GIVE we want to help young people, from all backgrounds, to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families.”
He continued: “In certain parts of the world, young people have lost all hope of a bright future.
“Especially in underserved communities, the GIVE program can help to bring back the hope to these young students.
“With our training courses, we are supporting them to create a better future. By training them to become sanitary specialists, we enable communities to build up a basic sanitation system and improve the living condition on site.
“As a brand we have a responsibility, also to society, and we are living up to this on many levels.”
Talking about the expansion of the training program, which was established at vocational college Colchester Institute in Essex, leader of GIVE Lixil EMEA Christopher Penney commented: The collaborations we have are really important to us as it brings us closer to the countries specifics, when it comes to training plumbers.
“As we know, there is a worldwide shortage of plumbers and installers and we feel this new type of training is a necessity.
“With this, we will be able to bring our products and technologies closer to the students, allowing them to gain hands-on experience and I’m really proud we’ve been able to open 12 schools in the last few months.”
In addition, the company has launched the Grohe GIVE truck with on-board training facilities to visit students and installers, encouraging more schools to join the initiative.
The truck will provide technical training on its specialist kitchen taps, showers, bathroom mixers and shower toilets, and educational institutes can book a visit.
Speaking about the future development of the GIVE program, Leader training LIXIL EMENA Timo Kurz said: “First of all, we are upgrading all the training rigs to have a tablet and TV screen, which means we can stream live from our new GIVE video studio in Lahr.
“Furthermore, we will fill the tablet with all available training material, our relevant Grohe apps and link to GroheX.com.
“Our focus region is North West Africa and we plan to open another four schools before the end of March 2022.
“We want to have 50 schools, in total, within the next few months, training more than 5,000 students a year.”
In addition, Kurz also revealed the company’s plan to support Worldskills, which helps inspire young people and develop vocational skills though global training and influences industry, government and educators.
For plumbing and heating skills, Grohe announced its intention to support Worldskills with products and professional expertise and become engaged in national qualifications and events.
Timo Kurz stated: “Together with the GIVE program, we want to make a closer link to our customers.
“Our customers can utilise the expertise of the students that have graduated from the GIVE program and offer them work experience or even a full-time job. It is a clear benefit for them in times of too few skilled workers.”
Finally, for plumbing students who want to become self-employed, Kurz added the company is going to set up a scholarship program, financially supporting them, and give them the guidance to set up their own business.