Home' Splash Magazine : SPLASH Dec-Jan 2016 Contents B
usiness is dynamic. There is no static: you are
either growing or shrinking.
It is the same personally – in an ever-chang-
ing world and an ever-changing industry, each
of us must look to grow our skill set and the personal
value we offer to our clients or employers.
Consumers have access to so much written material
on the internet, even accessible on their phones, so if
you are not striving to set a high standard, then you
may already be behind what the consumer can learn
from a simple Google search.
How will you justify a more expensive offering than
your competitor or an internet supplier if not for articu-
lating the value than comes from being better informed
than the latest blog posting.
Education on industry services and products has
been available as long as there have been suppliers.
Hundreds of employees and owners go to pool schools,
trade days, conferences and workshops each year to
stay abreast of what is new. This in part has kept the
proactive at the forefront of the industry but it won’t be
enough for 2016 and beyond.
The industry is changing. Gone are the days where a
car licence and a pole made you a service tech or failing
TAFE got you into Dad’s building business. The con-
sumers are seeking professionals, qualified and certified
to provide a level of comfort and security around their
decision to choose your value offering.
Hundreds of industry people now have a trade
qualification with the introduction and acceptance of
the Certificate III and IV pool service qualifications.
The marketing of a qualification wins business over the
“cowboy down the road”.
Offering staff a career path retains and builds loyalty
to your firm. Employers, if you have no problem at-
tracting, retaining and keeping your staff engaged, then
continue your current path.
If not take a quote from the Beechworth Bakery
icon, Tom O’Toole, when asked the question: “What if
you train them and they leave?”
His answer: “ What if I don’t train them and they stay?”
I have no doubt the building sector will move toward
an updated certificate curriculum once a national
SPASA body is formed and the state fears and self-in-
terests are overcome.
You should seek out suppliers that offer continuously
improved training. Don’t accept the same hydraulics
or chemistry spiel that was written decades ago. The
national qualifications set a standard of information
to be provided. The government does not set how far a
trainer can take you above this standard or how it can
be delivered in an engaging and useful way. Choose the
education supplier that suits your needs, to grow you
and your staff.
BioLab is renowned for setting the standard in train-
ing independent retailers and ser vice technicians. In
recent years, hydraulic expertise and hands-on training
has been added to improve the retention of the theory.
Understanding the importance of pH and calcium
levels and knowing how to estimate resistance and flow
rates is one thing, but without the sales techniques to
translate this into consumer understanding you have
missed the point of training.
The industry must improve its training options to
meet the various learning styles of its members. On-
line is great for providing information but a holistic
approach to training is better. Incorporating face-to-
face, on-site and hands-on will always deliver a better
result to both the trainee and – in the final analysis
– to the consumer.
There is an opportunity with SPASA Australia that
the separate states cannot provide alone. It can offer not
simply training, but true career path development while
providing public awareness of the skills and profession-
alism of our industry trades people.
I encourage all to participate raising the industry
standard whether you train your own staff monthly or
utilise the many options this proactive industry offers. n
Lindsay McGrath is vice-president of SPASA NSW
& ACT and managing director of BioLab Australia
& New Zealand. He has also been president of SPASA
SA, has served on the SPRAA board, is a Certificate
IV qualified trainer and assessor, holds a Master’s
Degree in Business and has been heavily involved in
the development of industry training and accreditation,
especially through his roles at SPRAA and BioLab.
Changing industr y demands
a focus on training
“Gone are the days where a car licence and a
pole made you a service tech.”
By Lindsay McGrath
32 SPLASH! December 2015/January 2016
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