Paul Smaylen becomes the first beneficiary of internal training at PLG Insulations

Six decades of specialist industrial insulation expertise have been passed on to a new generation, thanks to newly-established internal training at thermal specialists PLG Insulations.

Paul Smaylen has become the first employee to qualify in an NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Thermal Insulation – Fit Protection, as a result of internal training at the company.

In doing so, he has been trained by experienced engineers Richard Fairs and Tom Smith, each of whom has 30+ years in the industry and mentored by his Supervisor Darren Dix who himself joined PLG six years ago as a Trainee Thermal Insulation Engineer.  Between them, they can now pass on their wealth of experience and knowledge in a structured fashion.

Richard and Tom have both benefitted from a ‘Train the Trainer’ course run by Gloucestershire Enterprise, which equipped them with the skills to pass on their expertise and effectively deliver the training required for Mr Smaylen’s NVQ.

Paul’s new learning enables him to fulfil a range of insulation activities including the application, handling and storage of insulation materials, regulated erecting and dismantling of equipment, safety, and an understanding of the threat of asbestos.

The 29-year-old from Evesham joined PLG two years ago after deciding upon a change of career from his previous supervisory role within a family-run waste management company.

He has now added certified technical knowledge and skills to his previously developed abilities managing people, problem solving and improvisation, to become a valued member of the PLG team.

Mr Smaylen said: “I’d gone as far as I could in my previous role, I saw this position as an ideal opportunity to add training to my other skills and I’m really glad that I took it.

“I’m very lucky to have been able to learn so much from the people I’m working with now. Within a few weeks of starting I was working on the job, being shown the ropes, and progressing further.

“Now I’m at the point where I can do jobs by myself thanks to the skills which have been made available to me, so I’m really grateful to PLG for giving me this training.

“Thermal insulation is a specialist trade so there’s a great deal of specific knowledge to be passed on. By taking it on board I’m making sure the expertise endures, which can only be beneficial for PLG and our customers.

“While I’m a bit older than a typical apprentice, the way my career’s gone – developing professional skills first and technical skills afterwards – has actually worked out quite well.

“I have a clear career path from here and plenty of scope for development and further qualifications, so it’s ideal.”

PLG Insulations was acquired by the P&M Group, which includes composite panel specialists ISD Solutions, in September 2016.

Group chairman Andy Moon, whose grandfather founded ISD Solutions in 1946, has since assumed responsibility for ensuring that company values and culture continue to develop.

“PLG is very proud of the reputation it has built and enhanced, over many years, for the quality of its work and the repeat business this brings,” he said.

“However, as a business, it is always striving to be better and this fits with the culture and values across the P&M Group. Investing in the training and development of employees plays a big part in that.

“We are all delighted and proud of Paul’s achievement and what it signifies for the potential for PLG going forward.

“By offering a structured and successful training programme we will attract the new workforce we require for the continued growth and sustainability of the business.”

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