The outgoing Minister of State for Business and Industry, Nadhim Zahawi, has praised Talasey Group after hearing how it is helping to raise standards, skills and knowledge in the landscaping industry.

The Conservative MP for Stratford-on-Avon was attending the BMF's Parliamentary Innovation Reception when he spoke to the Talasey Group team.

Malcolm Gough, Group Sales & Marketing Director of the Doncaster-based company, told the Minister about the £500,000 investment the company has made to create Talasey Training Academy (TTA) to champion skills and drive up standards.

Gough, along with Sales Directors Tim Rushton and Shane McCormick, said that Zahawi was genuinely interested in the innovative approach that Talasey Group has taken to create the academy. 

The TTA delivers six City & Guilds-accredited courses primarily aimed at professional landscapers and garden designers that are also open to general builders, builders’ merchant staff and committed DIYers.

The courses cover the installation of porcelain paving, clay paving, stone paving, artificial grass, resin-bound aggregate and basic site setting out and preparation. Each course has a series of defined aims, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for the accreditation.

The academy has trained nearly 300 people since it open a little over a year ago and was chosen this summer as the pre-tournament training camp for the UK Landscape and Gardening Team entrants. The team came fourth out of 20 in the WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia, this August.

Reflecting on attending the event and meeting the great and the good from Westminster, Gough said: “Talasey Group was delighted to be invited to the BMF’s Parliamentary Innovation Reception to showcase TTA and meet MPs and other influential figures from Westminster to talk about skills and training,” said Gough.

“Nadhim Zahawi MP took the time to listen to why we as a business felt passionate enough to create TTA as part of our commitment to raising standards, skills and knowledge about landscaping products.

“He commented on our committed approach and said that improving sectorial skills chimed with his own vision for a continued drive to upskill industries right across the UK.”

John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF, said that the reception was held to shine a spotlight on the investment and innovation happening in the builders’ merchant industry and its supply chain.

“The building materials sector in which our members operate is currently valued at £56 billion and directly provides more than 330,000 jobs across 23,000 companies in the UK.

“The sector makes a significant contribution to the economy, and it’s important for us to reinforce the message of its value and significance – and we were delighted that Talasey Training Academy joined us at the event and supported us in delivering that message.”

Picture: Malcolm Gough and Nadhim Zahawi MP