Once again kindly sponsored by Octabuild, the nine-month long mentor-based programme is designed to equip those new to the hardware retail/builders merchanting sector, and those in need of more structured training, with a knowledge and skills base that will enable them to contribute to the business of their employer. It will also help employees build a career in the sector.
This year’s programme was kicked off with an Introductory session delivered via Zoom, where students got a chance to meet each other virtually, get an overview of the programme and meet their main contact for the programme, HAI’s Aoife Kinsella O’Reilly.
The students’ learning commenced in early September with the first Zoom-based module, covering Communication Essentials, which was delivered by Noel Davidson from the Entrepreneur’s Academy. Noel put students through their paces with a highly interactive session involving group exercises and discussion to bring them out of their shell and explore how best to communicate in their role.
The session was followed by a highly comprehensive Product Knowledge module on Garden & Outdoor Products delivered by Niall Nugent from Ames True Temper. The session covered key technical and market FAQs students might face from DIY and trade customers, looking at some of their key products, pricing queries, and other key trends and points of information.
The next session was Selling Skills, delivered by Terry Harmer in late September. Terry’s highly interactive workshop also used break-out rooms and discussion to help students think differently about their day-to-day interactions with customers, with a lot of link-backs to Noel’s Communications module.
This session was followed by a Product Knowledge module in Hand Tools, presented by Mark Devane from Toolbank. Mark provided a very comprehensive overview of the hand tools sector, including some of the key brands and product ranges, such as hammers, hand saws and plastering products, along with some new storage products for tradespeople and DIYers. He also gave a quick overview of product merchandising for the students to think about.
Octabuild Members sharing their Product Knowledge
HAI is delighted to be working with Octabuild and its members (Dulux, Etex, Glennon Brothers, Grant Engineering, Gyproc, Irish Cement, Kingspan, and Wavin) to deliver a series of Product Knowledge modules, giving students a full rounded view perspective of the industry. The remaining modules to be covered are:
Octabuild Chairman Declan Conlon, Wavin Ireland, comments on the group’s involvement this year: “Octabuild is delighted to sponsor the HAI Certificate in Hardware Retail and Merchanting for the third year. We very much appreciate the importance of growing talent in the merchant trade and value the knowledge that this programme offers to participants. We look forward to sharing our own expertise in industry specific product knowledge modules for participants and working with them as they progress through the programme.”
HAI looks forward to working with Octabuild in sharing their Product Knowledge and experience with students in the coming year.
For more information about the HAI Certificate in Hardware Retail and Merchanting contact Aoife at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01 2980969.