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Having a ball with SELECT’s Toolbox Talks roadshow

Our winning team kicked off this year’s Toolbox Talks at Murrayfield, with Members flocking to the famous stadium to mingle with staff and exhibitors and hear technical updates on air source heat pumps and electrical energy storage systems

The team from Marr Imperium enjoyed the first Toolbox Talk at Murrayfield

This year’s Toolbox Talks certainly started with a scrum as we rushed to get everything ready, but it’s safe to say we achieved a winning result with every event!

The past few weeks have flown by as we hit the road with our ever-popular technical updates, and it’s been great to meet up with so many Members, Associate Members and exhibitors for my second year of roadshows.

Our fleet partners Pike + Bambridge once again came to the rescue by providing a van to load up all our kit, so we crammed in all our games, gear and goodie bags and off we went.

The first event was at BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh on Tuesday 2 May – and it was certainly a fantastic way to get the ball rolling!

Having a heated debate

The first event saw Director of Technical Services Bob Cairney return to his old stomping ground as he welcomed guests to the famous rugby stadium and introduced the day’s timetable.

Technical Adviser Bruce Findlay was then first up to deliver a presentation on the electrical requirements for air source heat pumps (ASHPs), outlining how contractors can get involved and what to consider when installing the technology.

He was helped by heating engineer Barry Sharp, who contributed to the conversation as part of our invitation to members of the Scotland and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF) to get involved in this year’s events. The ball was then passed to Billy McRobert for our second presentation of the morning, and our Consultant Training Adviser duly provided a detailed overview of electrical energy storage systems (EESS).

Billy talked Members through the technical implications of EESS in domestic and commercial environments, and again answered plenty of questions afterwards as Members quizzed him on every aspect of the new technology.

“Billy talked Members through the technical implications of EESS in domestic and commercial environments”

Fellow Technical Advisers Keith Hagan, Neil Sim, Robert McGoogan and Stuart McKelvie have delivered the presentations at subsequent events, and the feedback has been equally excellent. We’ve also had positive feedback about our new certificates of continuing personal development (CPD), which were emailed out to delegates after every show to help firms and individual operatives keep track of how they’re developing their skills.

Battling the clock

Another popular new feature on this year’s roadshow was a technical quiz on EICR coding which was done via mobile phones and saw delegates rewarded for how quickly they answered correctly.

Things soon got competitive as Members battled to top the podium and win great prizes donated by Luceco and fellow Associate Member TIS – there was some impressive knowledge on show!

Speed was also the name of the game in our Beat the Buzzer challenge, with prizes again donated by Associate Member Megger. The 2022 champion David Forster again set the pace in the Borders, picking up a VF5 voltage pen and topping the overall leaderboard.

As cabletalk went to press, the SELECT team was packing its bags and preparing for the final round of events in Inverness, Aberdeen, Orkney, Shetland and Stornoway.

Once they’re complete, we’ll again be compiling feedback and responding to the results of our post-event surveys to make sure we’re in shape and match fit for 2024!


New tech is the hot topic for expert guests

SELECT welcomed heating engineers and ASHP manufacturers to this year’s mainland events to give their view on the technology.

Barry Sharp of green energy experts Renewable Heat attended events in Edinburgh and Falkirk, answering FAQs about ASHPs and fielding plenty of Member queries.

Fellow SNIPEF member Lachlan McInnes of McInnes Group Ltd outlined the possibilities for electricians at the Borders and Dumfries roadshows, while Callum Cruden of RI Cruden Ltd spoke to Members in Inverness.

Robert McGoogan with Laurence Allison

Davie Robb from Associate Member Daikin was on hand at the Kilmarnock and Falkirk events to give the manufacturer’s view on installations, with colleague Grant Coates doing the same in Inverness.

Laurence Allison from NIBE also answered Member questions at Dumfries, Glasgow and Inverness, with plenty of interest expressed in the new technology.

Director of Technical Services Bob Cairney said: “Having expert input from heating engineers and ASHP manufacturers was invaluable and provided another dimension to this year’s event. Members said they found the different viewpoints extremely useful.”

Green energy expert Barry Sharp shared his advice on heating tech



→ 25.47 seconds – David Forster, David C Forster Ltd (Borders event)

→ 27.45 – Mark Higgins, C-Urb 6 Ltd (Falkirk)

→ 27.79 – Graeme Johnstone, Colin Johnstone Electrical Contractor (Dumfries)

→ 32.51 – Simon McLean, Cunninghame Housing Association Ltd (Kilmarnock)

→ 35.00 – Martin Gaughan, New Gorbals Housing Association Ltd (Glasgow)

→ 36.10 – David Haighe, Montali Energy Services Ltd (Edinburgh)

→ 39.80 – Scott Taylor, C & F Electrical Services Ltd (Dundee)

Inverness, Aberdeen, Orkney, Shetland and Stornoway events still to come

Donald W Orr tries to keep a steady hand for our Beat the Buzzer game



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