BMF News

Britain’s most successful Paralympic athlete to speak at BMF All-Industry Conference

17 April 2019

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBEBaroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, Britain’s best known Paralympic athlete, joins the line-up of speakers from the worlds of business, politics and sport at the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June.

Tanni has performed at world class level in distances ranging from 100m to the marathon and has competed in every major international event. She has won 15 Paralympic medals, including 11 golds and six gold medals in the London Marathon. Together with her comprehensive set of British and World records, this makes her achievements second to none in the disability sport arena.

In the build-up to the 2012 Olympics Tanni was vice chair of the athletes committee and sat on the Diversity and Inclusion committee which looked at recruiting a diverse range of Gamesmakers / team members. She also played a key role in the planning and sustainability of the infrastructure and buildings to ensure a long term benefit to the local communities after the games were completed.

Her work in the administration, management and politics of sport has resulted in a much higher profile and improved access for sports for people with disabilities. One of her greatest achievements must be in making people more aware of disability and what can be accomplished with will-power and sheer determination.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “Baroness Tanni is an outstanding example of mental and physical fortitude. She not only succeeded at the highest level in her sporting career, she has lobbied and promoted issues and causes associated with disability sport and disability in general to effect real change. Delegates can look forward to a totally inspirational key-note speech.”

The BMF All-Industry Conference 2019 takes place in Dubrovnik from 13 to 16 June. Broadcaster and TV personality, Gethin Jones will host the sold-out event. Our thanks to the BMF All-Industry Conference headline sponsor, Crystal Group. For more information visit www.bmfconference.co.uk
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, Britain’s best known Paralympic athlete, joins the line-up of speakers from the worlds of business, politics and sport at the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June.

Schneider Electric joins the BMF

16 April 2019

Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation has joined the BMF.

As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications.

Schneider Electric provide a comprehensive range of products for the Wholesale and Merchant market including wiring devices, circuit protection, cable management and installation materials.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “We are delighted that Schneider are keen to develop relationships and play an active role within the BMF, and we are looking forward to working with them.”


Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation has joined the BMF.

Housing Minister to address BMF Members Annual Conference

10 April 2019

Kit Malthouse MPKit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Housing, will speak at the BMF Members’ Annual Conference on 19 September 2019. 

Mr Malthouse is responsible for housing & home ownership and planning & development in England. Specific policies such as Help to Buy, affordable & social housing, Building Regulations and the National Planning Policy Framework come under his portfolio. He is the minister tasked with increasing the housing supply to fulfil his Government’s pledge to build 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.

Mr Malthouse was elected as Conservative MP for North-West Hampshire in May 2015. Prior to this he was Deputy London Mayor for Policing, and then Deputy London Mayor for Business & Enterprise, under Boris Johnson. A chartered accountant by profession, he worked for Touche Ross and then Deloitte, before becoming finance director and later chairman of a construction plant hire business in the Midlands

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “We are extremely pleased that the Housing Minister will attend our annual Members’ Conference. Housing remains a key construction issue and builders merchants and their customers play a vital role in the supply chain both to deliver new homes and to upgrade existing housing stock.”

The BMF Members Annual Conference and black-tie Awards Dinner takes place on 19 September at St George’s Park, Burton on Trent, the home of England’s national football teams.  The BMF’s annual Golf Tournament will be held on the previous day, 18th September at the newly-opened JCB Golf and Country Club.

The BMF thanks our Members’ Conference headline sponsor, Encon Insulation, and Marsh Industries and JCB, sponsors of the Awards Dinner and Golf Tournament.

For more information on BMF Members’ Day click here or contact: june.upton@bmf.org.uk
Kit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Housing, will speak at the BMFMembers’ Annual Conference on 19 September 2019.

BMF relaunches industry recruitment website

8 April 2019

The BMF has launched Building Materials Careers, a new, improved website to encourage more people to join the building materials sector by highlighting the wide range of careers available both in merchant and supplier businesses.

The relaunch follows policy research with members who told the BMF they wanted the Federation to help promote the widest possible range of job opportunities in the industry, fostering diversity and inclusion, helping members to recruit a workforce from a wide range of backgrounds and experience.

As part of the BMF’s bold new strategy, unveiled at its annual Members’ Day Conference in September, attracting and developing talented people in to the industry will continue to be a main strategic goal.

The website - www.buildingmaterialscareers.com - promotes apprenticeships, life-long learning and gives members the opportunity to manage their job advertisements free of charge using the ‘Advertise A Job’ facility. Potential apprentices and employees will then be able to easily locate these roles, using the region, sector and location search filters.

The website features merchant and supplier employees’ video profiles . Each profile explains how they came to work in the materials supply industry and what they like about their specific job. Job seekers will be inspired by the range of career opportunities available to them in the building materials industry, no matter what educational qualifications they achieved at school or university. The site also highlights the BMF’s Ambassador programme, and explains that schools and colleges can invite someone working in the industry to share their experience at careers events.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said, “We are delighted to launch our new Building Materials Careers website to help the industry attract and develop new people. This is a fantastic opportunity for BMF members to get involved, by not only promoting their job vacancies, but by also becoming industry Ambassadors to spread the word about the great careers available in building materials.”

For more information about the website visit www.buildingmaterialscareers.com or contact Hannah Taylor, BMF Marketing Assistant on 02476 854990 or email hannah.taylor@bmf.org.uk
The BMF has launched Building Materials Careers, a new, improved website to encourage more people to join the building materials sector.

BMF hosts European merchant trip to share best practice

5 April 2019

UFEMAT visit March 2019The BMF led a fact-finding visit for its counterpart trade bodies in Belgium, Spain, Portugal and several merchants from the Iberian peninsula as part of an initiative to promote wider understanding and best practice between builders merchants across Europe during BMF CEO, John Newcomb’s term as President of UFEMAT, the European Association of National Builders Merchants Associations and Manufacturers.

Representatives from eight European organisations took part in a 3-day field trip hosted by BMF Chairman, Peter Hindle MBE, John Newcomb and the BMF’s Event Manager, June Upton. 

Delegates were briefed on the UK market during a visit to the BMF’s HQ in Coventry before attending the Roofing Cladding and Insulation (RCI) Show at Ricoh Arena. The group also visited branches of two merchants, Selco Builders Warehouse, which has 66 trade-only branches across the county, and EH Smith which serves both trade and DIY customers from 12 branches in the midlands and south east. They were able to hear directly from the branch manager and directors of both operations about the opportunities and challenges faced by UK merchants and the business models they have adopted.

Thanking the BMF for their hospitality, Jaume Rullan, MD of Spanish merchant Bongrup, said: “I would like to express the sincere gratitude we feel for the attention we received during the trip. We have got to know the BMF very well, which has been of great interest, and have also learnt about a series of companies that has shed some light on how the future may look.”

The BMF has now been invited to speak at the Congress of the National Association of Distributors of Ceramics and Construction Materials in Spain later this year to share best practice with a wider audience of their members.

John Newcomb said: “The building materials supply industry throughout Europe shares many similarities.  We can all benefit from sharing experiences and working together to uncover new and better ways of addressing common concerns. I hope this field trip will be the first of many during my term as President of UFEMAT.”


The UFEMAT Annual Congress takes place on 17-19 October 2019 - click here for more details
The BMF led a fact-finding visit for its counterpart trade bodies in Belgium, Spain, Portugal and merchants from the Iberian peninsula to promote wider understanding and best practice between merchants across Europe.

BMF launches the BMF Learning Academy for accredited training

BMF Learning Academy3 April 2019

The BMF has announced plans to further professionalise training within the building materials supply sector with the launch of its own training brand, the BMF Learning Academy.

The BMF Learning Academy will help to build a talent pool for the building materials supply industry and enable individuals to excel by providing accredited qualifications and continuing professional development specifically for merchants and suppliers.

All existing third party accredited BMF training courses will now sit within the BMF Learning Academy, with a programme to introduce more each year.  The ambition is to provide member companies with “cradle to grave” training for all staff.

BMF Membership Services Director, Richard Ellithorne said: “The BMF’s vision is to enable members to build excellence in building materials supply.  Within this, the BMF Learning Academy is designed to enable individuals in our industry to develop their knowledge and excel in their field.   Our Learning Academy accredited courses will cover a wide range of skills and knowledge.  They will encompass online modules for those who want a quick introduction or refresher in a particular area, tutor-led or distance learning for those wanting more specific, in-depth, knowledge, and formalised study over an extended period for those who want an academic qualification.”

The newly updated BMF Diploma in Merchanting Management and the BMF Foundation Degree in Merchant Management awarded by the University of Hertfordshire will be flagship BMF Learning Academy Courses.

Other current courses within the BMF Learning Academy include:

- CPD accredited: Managing for Success
- How a House is Built, Measuring Building Quantities
- ISM accredited: Essentials in Sales Management
- ISOH accredited: Warehouse and Yard Safety
- Occupational Award (OA) accredited: Building Blocks in Timber as a Building Material, Central Heating, An Introduction to Residential Construction

Along with the BMF Diploma in Merchanting Management, a number of other Learning Academy courses are due to come on stream this year as accredited courses.  They include Finance for Non Finance Managers and the BMF Branch Manager Forum (both CPD accredited), and Building Blocks in Insulation, Above Ground Drainage and Customer Service (all OA accredited). 

The BMF has also revised its Training Roadmap to highlight BMF Learning Academy courses through the career pathway.  Delegates completing three, five or ten Learning Academy courses will also receive certificates acknowledging their achievement and skills development.

For more information please contact Paige Godsell, Training Co-ordinator at paige.godsell@bmf.org.uk or call her on 02476 854989
The BMF has announced plans to further professionalise training within the building materials supply sector with the launch of its own training brand, the BMF Learning Academy.

BMF launches Merchant Industry Forecast with special Brexit Report

1 April 2019

In line with the BMF strategic aim of developing a forecasting model specifically aligned to the UK merchant sector, the BMF has published the first edition of the Builders Merchants Industry Forecast, covering the period 2019-2021. 

The BMF’s new forecast model has been developed to support members in future planning by providing consistent updates on forecasted industry sales. The data will be updated on a quarterly basis. The initial report is a special Brexit edition and includes forecast results based on both a soft and hard Brexit. The report and quarterly updates will be supplied free of charge to BMF members. The Builders Merchants Industry Forecast will also be available for others to purchase, with the initial report priced at £295.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said, “Our new Builders Merchants Industry Forecast will help BMF members and others involved in building materials supply to plan for the future. Most forecasts tend to be based on lag indicators. Essentially, they use what happened last year to predict what could happen next year. The BMF model incorporates a number of lead indicators to signal future events that will impact our markets and makes it possible for merchants and their suppliers to forecast their customers’ requirements more accurately.” 

The BMF’s econometric forecast model was developed with the support and assistance of the EU KEEN project and Dr Erez Yerushalmi, Senior Lecturer in Economics at Birmingham City University.  The model uses accurate sales data from the Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) as the main sales variable coupled with other key variables to forecast what is likely to happen in the next 12 months and beyond. BMBI data is collated monthly from 80% of generalist builders merchants sales throughout Great Britain and analysed by research company, GfK. It is the most accurate sales date within the construction industry.

Builders merchants sales are affected by a number of internal and external factors relating to the wider UK economy. During development over 20 other variables were tested to analyse their correlation with the BMBI. The final forecast model is based on the five variables that indicated the highest level of correlation with builders merchants sales, namely: Repair, Maintenance and Improvement, Weekly Household Income, Season, All New Work, and Number of trading day (per month).  Within the model, variables are forecasted using an Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model, which is ideal for analysing time series data.

In addition to detailed forecast results and analysis, the Brexit edition of the Builders Merchants Industry Forecast includes merchant industry insights and wider economic indicators.

For more information contact Nyssa Patel, BMF Industry Analyst/Economist on 02476 854994 or email nyssa.patel@bmf.org.uk
The BMF has published the first edition of the Builders Merchants Industry Forecast, covering the period 2019-2021.

Leading sports psychologist confirmed for BMF All-Industry Conference

26 March 2019

Michael Caulfield MScMichael Caulfield Msc, one of the UK’s leading sports psychologists who has worked with England football manager Gareth Southgate, as well as teams and players in both the Barclays' Premier League and international and domestic cricket, has been confirmed as a headline speaker at the BMF All-Industry Conference in June.

Michael has worked in professional sport for over 25 years. As a registered performance psychologist with the Health and Care Professionals Council he currently supports a number of teams, organisations, coaches and athletes in elite sport and has wide experience across many sporting codes.  He was formerly the Chief Executive of the Professional Jockeys Association and this balance of experiences gives him a unique understanding of the performance requirements of both his business and sporting clients.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “Michael will provide yet another dimension to our Conference theme of Building Excellence. The breadth of his experience provides examples and insights from the sporting world that reinforce core performance messages in a business environment.”

The BMF also announced a slight change to the speaker programme.  The Institute of Directors will now be represented by Edwin Morgan, Interim Director General for External Affairs.  Edwin has a remit to foster a climate favourable to entrepreneurial activity and wealth creation.  His team of policy experts also represent the interests of IoD members to government.  As such his is ideally placed to present the IoD’s view on how UK businesses should be supported through the Brexit transition and beyond.

The BMF All-Industry Conference 2019 takes place in Dubrovnik from 13 to 16 June. Broadcaster and TV personality, Gethin Jones will host the sold-out event. Our thanks to the BMF All-Industry Conference headline sponsor, Crystal Group. For more information visit www.bmfconference.co.uk
Michael Caulfield Msc, a leading UK sports psychologist who has worked with England football manager Gareth Southgate, and teams in Barclays' Premier League cricket, is confirmed as a headline speaker at the BMF Conference in June

A positive start to 2019

21 March 2019

BMBI January 2019 highlightsTotal Builders Merchant value sales were up 5.0% in January compared with January 2018. Four categories did better, including the two biggest: Timber & Joinery Products (+6.2%) and Heavy Building Materials (+6.1%). Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+2.8%) and Decorating (+2.7%) were among five categories that grew more slowly and Workwear & Safetywear (-4.9%) was one of three that sold less.

The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) tracks builders’ merchants’ actual sales to builders and contractors using GfK’s Builders’ Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data. The BMBI represents over 80% of the value of the builders' merchants' market.

Visit www.bmbi.co.uk/the-index to see the full January 2019 report. Read trends, analysis and industry issues from our panel of construction industry experts.

Source: GfK Builders' Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data July 2014 - January 2019.



Download the report



Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI)
Email: info@bmbi.co.uk
Website: www.bmbi.co.uk
Twitter: @TheBMBI
Telephone: 01453 521621  
Total Builders Merchant value sales were up 5.0% in January compared with January 2018. 4 categories did better, including the two biggest: Timber & Joinery Products (+6.2%) and Heavy Building Materials (+6.1%).

Natural Cement Distribution has joined the BMF


18 March 2019


Natural Cement are delighted to have become supplier members of the BMF.

The company manufactures a range of mortars and grouts based on a unique natural binder which has been in use for over 200 years. The products are used for Concrete Repairs, Waterproofing, Damp Proofing, Screeding and Grouting in the Construction, Rail, Civil Engineering and Utilities industries throughout the UK.

On joining the BMF – Jack Edwards, Sales Manager at Natural Cement commented, ‘’We are really pleased to have been allowed to join the Builders Merchant Federation, our company has supplied materials through several builders merchants for many years and this will hopefully enable us to work more closely with the members in the future and build new relationships within the industry.’’

Natural Cement products are based on a Natural Cement binder, not OPC, they contain no chemical additives, are environmentally friendly, chemically resistant and have proven to be great time savers due to their rapid strength gain and short curing times. The products are suitable for a wide range of applications which can save on valuable warehouse storage space; they also do not have a limited shelf life which means no stock is ever wasted.

For more information please call 01226 381133, email enquiries@naturalcement.co.uk or go to www.naturalcement.co.uk.
Natural Cement are delighted to have become supplier members of the BMF.

Chancellor's Spring Statement: BMF Statement


15 March 2019


If the Government is serious in wanting to cut carbon emissions from homes, they ought to talk to the BMF - because it is BMF members who make and deliver the majority of materials and products used to de-carbonise today’s housing.

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, gave the BMF’s reaction to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement that a new Future Homes Standard will be introduced to end fossil-fuel heating in new homes by 2025.

In his Spring Statement to Parliament, Mr Hammond confirmed the Government’s intention to adopt recommendations made by the Committee on Climate Change last month.

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said, “Investing in homes to fit energy-efficient and water-saving measures is central to our members’ businesses. They distribute, on a daily basis, the insulation, heating AND hot water systems, thermostatic controls, underfloor heating and heat pumps on which Whitehall has sought advice from industry about over the last ten years”.

In its report, the Committee on Climate Change said no new homes should be connected to the gas grid from 2025 at the latest. Homes should be heated using low-carbon energy sources (like heat pumps) and have ultra-high levels of energy efficiency.

Mark Bradley, Managing Director of Plumbase, and BMF Plumbing and Heating Forum Chairman, said, “We look forward to the consultation in due course and the BMF will give industry input. Yesterday’s news does not spell the end of gas boilers. Technological advances in green fuels has led to a higher proportion of home heating using biomethane or hydrogen. And if heat pumps are the preferred option, our job as merchants is to explain to politicians how our supply chain works to help to meet future low-carbon objectives”.

The BMF strongly supports the “Fabric First” concept and wants a more coherent, long-term framework that combines better insulation, efficient boilers and low-carbon micro-generation.
If Government is serious in cutting carbon emissions,they ought to talk to the BMF - its members make and deliver the products used to de-carbonise housing.

BMF opens South West Regional Centre of Excellence at ADEY


13 March 2019


The BMF has launched a Regional Centre of Excellence with the support of ADEY, global water treatment and magnetic filtration manufacturer.

As a BMF Regional Centre of Excellence, ADEY’s state-of-the-art Training and Conference Centre, based at its headquarters in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire will make training courses and regional meetings more accessible to BMF members in the South West.

ADEY is an industry-leading pioneer, having brought magnetic filtration technology to the market 15 years ago, its MagnaClean filters are now protecting heating systems in more than five million UK homes. The company also now trades in more than 30 countries including China, USA, Australia, New Zealand and across Europe. 

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “This is a fantastic centre that has been used before by BMF members, and we are extremely grateful that they are officially opening it to our members now. We look forward to holding more South West meetings here, along with our own training courses for members in the region.

John Vaughan, ADEY’s Chief Executive Officer, says: “In becoming a regional hub for members, we’re helping the BMF to provide tangible support to others in the industry, ensuring those in the area can benefit from attending regular forums and training courses. We’re really pleased to be part of this BMF initiative and look forward to welcoming its members to ADEY.”

For details of all the BMF Regional Centres of Excellence across the UK and Ireland please visit www.bmf.org.uk/membership and for more information about ADEY visit www.adey.com
The BMF has launched a Regional Centre of Excellence with the support of ADEY, global water treatment and magnetic filtration manufacturer.

Debate and discussion at BMF All-Industry Conference

12 March 2019


BMF 2019 Conference Forum speakersDelegates at the BMF All-Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June will have a choice of four interactive industry workshops to attend as part of the Saturday morning programme, each offering a thought-provoking platform for group discussions. 

The format is based on the specialist BMF Industry Forums which are growing in both number and popularity.  There are now more than 15 such Forums meeting on a regular basis serving various sector and functional interest groups within the building materials industry.

Delegates will be able to attend up to two of the following special interest workshops at the BMF All-Industry Conference.

Marketing Forum

Mark Mallinder, Marketing Director of EH Smith is the guest speaker at this workshop, setting the scene before a Q&A session that is certain to consider the impact of Brexit on business development and marketing strategies. The session is chaired by Lucia Di Stazio, MD of MRA Marketing, the sponsors of this forum.

Plumbing & Heating Forum

P&H is the longest standing of the BMF Forums and one of the most well-supported.  The guest speakers for this special Conference session are Andrew Harrison, CEO of Travis Perkin’s Plumbing Division and Jonathan Collier, MD of Monument Tools, who are sponsoring this workshop.  The session will be chaired by Mark Bradley, MD of Plumbase.

HR/Mental Health Forum

Award-winning mental health campaigners, Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE, will follow up their presentation on the main stage on Day One of the Conference by starting proceedings at this important workshop.  They will be joined by Brian Dow, MD of Mental Health UK and Deputy Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness.  This workshop is sponsored by Isover Saint-Gobain.

Young Merchants Forum

The BMF Young Merchant Group supports and encourages those progressing in their careers.  Setting an inspirational tone for this workshop is Oli France, an adventurer and professional expedition leader who has led teams through some of the world’s most dangerous and least visited countries.  This session is jointly chaired by MKM’s Glenn Paddison, the current chair of BMF Young Merchant Group, and John Ryszkowski, Divisional MD of ACO, who are sponsoring this workshop.

The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference, sponsored by the Crystal Clear Group, takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details on the Forums can be found are on the Conference website

​Delegates at the BMF All-Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June will have a choice of four interactive industry workshops to attend as part of the Saturday morning programme, each offering a thought-provoking platform for group discussions. ​ ​

Spring statement: BMF lobbies the chancellor 


12 March 2019


The BMF has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, ahead of his Spring Statement to Parliament to lobby for more flexibility in the rules governing the Apprenticeship Levy.

In its letter, the BMF urged Mr Hammond to use his Spring Statement to prepare for life after Brexit - and counteract predicted falls in employment levels and regional productivity.

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said, “Last week was National Apprenticeship Week. The BMF has been involved in the Apprenticeship Levy since his predecessor George Osborne announced it in his July 2015 Budget. As a direct consequence, we have established our own Apprenticeship Training Agency to make it easier for our SME members to take on new apprentices. Nearly 250 young men and women have begun - or will soon begin - a BMF Apprenticeship. However, employers struggle with the complexities of the scheme and we are asking the Chancellor for improvements”.

Mr Newcomb’s letter:
- asks how unspent Levy contributions will be used. There is a considerable sum of Levy money untouched by merchants and manufacturers obliged to pay it. The BMF wants ministers to reallocate this to businesses to enable them to hire more apprentices through the BMF’s Apprenticeship Training Agency
- reiterates that young learners often find it difficult to afford travel costs. It is not uncommon for apprentices to spend more than half their wages on travel. The worry is they pick an apprenticeship they can get to cheaply that may not be the correct choice for them. The BMF wants ministers to apply more flexibility to ease travel costs.
The BMF has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, ahead of his Spring Statement to lobby for flexibility in the rules governing the Apprenticeship Levy.

Why do an apprenticeship?  

During National Apprenticeship Week, Carmen Daley of BMF’s Apprenticeships Training Agency explores the merits of undertaking an apprenticeship  
5 March 2019

Carmen DaleyTwo weeks after I passed my driving test, I found myself standing on the driveway, explaining to my father how I’d managed to not only drive into the back of someone earlier that day, but I’d also just ran into his garage wall. Dad maintains the first thing he did was calmly explain that you don’t really learn until you are ‘doing the do’ and this was all part of the learning experience. Trust me – it was far from the first thing he said but once his blood pressure returned to normal, he did indeed say it.  

I often think of this when asked ‘why do an apprenticeship?’. My wonderful (and very patient!) driving instructor gave me the tools and techniques to drive, but it was only when I was actually driving day in and day out, that I truly learnt to apply them. It was a similar experience entering the workplace after three years of University.  

One of the many benefits of an apprenticeship is that the training you receive is not only relevant to your exact role and industry, but it is also put into practice immediately. No waiting to pass a test or graduate or find a job, you simply learn and apply in real time. A sure-fire way to get you on the right path within your chosen career.    

The other bonus is that, unlike driving lessons or University, you don’t have to pay for your training nor complete it in your own time. The Apprenticeships format was designed specifically to be accessible to all and to achieve this, study time is protected within work hours, and financial barriers are removed. No late-night study sessions or tens of thousands of pounds of student debt here!  

Often when I explain to people that there is a way to learn whilst being paid, and without incurring huge debts, they believe that there are only entry level apprenticeship qualifications available. Absolutely not true. Apprenticeships now go all the way to Level 7. Chartered Accountant, HGV Driver, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Chartered Manager, Team Leader, Digital Marketer, Health and Safety Technician, are just few of apprenticeships out there.  

Builders' merchants are a hidden gem for Apprenticeship opportunities. Often overlooked, they offer an array of career pathways including those listed above. The very nature of the industry means that those working within it need to be at the forefront of exceptional customer service. As well as the formal apprenticeship training, Builders Merchants also invest heavily in additional training of their apprentices in the form of online learning, short courses and supplier training, all of which run alongside the formal apprenticeship.  

During National Apprenticeship Week, I urge all of you who are seeking a solid career pathway with significant opportunities, to consider an apprenticeship with one of the many members of the BMF. If ever you needed proof that “doing the do” works, this formally dodgy driver now oversees the BMF Apprentice Driver Program.  


Find out more about setting up apprenticeships with the BMF's Apprenticeships Plus service here
To find out more about careers in the industry click here
During National Apprenticeship Week, Carmen Daley of BMF’s Apprenticeships Training Agency explores the merits of undertaking an apprenticeship.

BMF launches ISM accredited sales management training  

28 February 2019

BMF Sales Management TrainingThe BMF has introduced a new sales talent development programme, accredited by the Institute of Sales Management (ISM), to support individuals looking to successfully develop and manage a portfolio of customers.    

Designed for small groups of between six and eight delegates and delivered over twelve months, Essential Sales Management instils sales management techniques and strategies to increase sales growth and brand awareness in a competitive market.  It is aimed at new and aspiring sales executives as well as those who have moved into sales with extensive product knowledge but limited formal sales training who now require a sales toolkit to grow their customer portfolio.  

The programme has been devised and will be delivered by Sue Reed and her team of associates who are all experienced sales trainers in the merchant sector.  Sue, a Fellow of the Institute of Sales Management, tutors a number of other BMF training courses and this programme is equally relevant for BMF merchant and supplier members.  

The eleven-day programme is delivered over three, three-day workshops following a one-day induction and concluding with a final one-day Business Improvement – Profitable Portfolio presentation at the end.  Delegates also receive ongoing support from a dedicated talent development coach and mentor who undertakes regular telephone calls, reviews and provides feedback reports.  

Based on their final presentation, successful candidates will be awarded Executive Institute of Sales Management status, with their first year’s fees paid.  

BMF Membership Services Director, Richard Ellithorne said: “We were keen to introduce a sales training programme to help members develop the next generation of sales professionals and Sue Reed’s team are far and away the best people to do this. The programme ranges from immediately usable sales strategies, life-long business skills and customer relationship management, all encapsulated by the team’s 70/20/10 model for learning and development.  Their passion and expertise will undoubtedly inspire everyone who undertakes the course.”  

The Essential Sales Management programme is designed for small groups. BMF members may book the course as an in-house programme, or individual delegates can join an open course at one of the BMF’s regional centres.

To find out more click here or contact BMF Training Coordinator, Paige Godsell on 02476 854989, or email paige.godsell@bmf.org.uk
The BMF has introduced a new sales talent development programme, accredited by the Institute of Sales Management (ISM), to support individuals looking to successfully develop and manage a portfolio of customers