Meet David Beattie – our Northern Technical Product Trainer at Aqualisa. We’ve spoken to David to find out more about his career, his background and the work he is carrying out with apprentices across the UK.
Tell us a bit about your current role as Technical Product Trainer. What brought you to Aqualisa?
When I was 16, I started an apprenticeship in Northern Ireland for SNIPEF before working full-time as a heating engineer for Willis Heating in Belfast. After this, I worked as a self-employed service engineer for 16 years, servicing a range of products from various shower brands including Aqualisa. Finally, I joined the Aqualisa team as a Technical Product Trainer, a position I have held for the last five years.
Based in the North of the country, I spend most of my time working closely with colleges, putting together training courses to help get Level 2 and Level 3 apprentices up to speed on installing showers, which is also a great introduction to the Aqualisa brand. Having gone down the apprentice route myself, I feel this helps me to relate to the students I meet on a regular basis. I’ve been doing this position now for five years, and I still wake up in the morning excited to do my job every day!
What do you enjoy most about your role as a product trainer?
I love what I do! I’m very fortunate. I really enjoy engaging with students and installers and being able to showcase my passion for Aqualisa. The highlight of my career so far has to be when I won a ‘Showered with Praise’ award for training at an Aqualisa sales conference. I saw that as a huge achievement for me!
You work a lot with colleges, can you tell me a bit more about the training that you have been involved with?
Apprentices are vital to the industry and it’s imperative to support them now more than ever, with the underlying skills gap we are experiencing. What’s more, it is vital that we gain the attention of the bright young minds of tomorrow, so we can introduce and familiarise them with our brand as they embark on their successful careers. Personally, I see this as critical – training is an important asset to our company and although it is a longer-term investment, it adds exceptional value to Aqualisa.
The training seminars I present are always very well received. We present information on Aqualisa and effectively show samples of our products; including the original bi-metallic coil which has been used in a range of our showers for over 40 years. The course is also completely hands-on – for example, for smart and digital showers, we show them how to fit the smart valve and then they can try themselves. The students and the lecturers always thank me for my enthusiasm and enjoy the interactive elements of the day, as well as the official certificate for their portfolio.
I always try and offer the students a little piece of advice during these sessions and it’s usually, stick at it and always keep going! Even through bad days, make sure you persevere. You will have a brilliant career, and there are so many well-rewarded options in this industry.
With regards to the free installer training available, why should installers come to learn about Aqualisa products and what are the benefits of attending?
Digital showering is the way the market is heading, and it is imperative for all installers to be clued up on the concept. After attending our training, we feel that an installer will have the confidence to fit any Aqualisa Smart Digital product easily and efficiently – even if it’s their first time. It’s also handy for them to come along just to get a feel for our high-quality products.
You have worked with Aqualisa products for a long time, what is your favourite?
It’s difficult to choose between two of them. I like the Aqualisa Q™ purely for the technological advantages and how it stands out amongst other products on the market. Nonetheless, the Aqualisa Quartz™ will always be my true favourite, I’ve always been smitten with the performance of the shower and I also admire its classic design, user-friendliness and simple ‘fit and forget’ composition for installers. The bimetal thermostatic technology found in all Aqualisa’s products is also a stand out characteristic for me.
For more information, please visit http://www.aqualisa.co.uk/training.