Women in the heat pump Industry - Rachel Griffiths, Training Officer, Baxi


18 April 2024
Rachel Griffiths, Training Officer, Baxi. Women in the heat pump Industry

Focus is on Rachel Griffiths, Training Officer, Baxi.


How did you get into the heat pump industry?

I came into the heat pump industry as a qualified gas engineer, having worked in the plumbing, heating and gas sectors for over 10 years. During this time, I installed and maintained various plumbing and heating systems. I joined the Baxi Training team in Summer 2023, and I could never have imagined the amount of knowledge I have gained since starting.

I have now achieved my BPEC Heat Pump qualification and am continuously developing my understanding of renewable technologies.


What was your first job?

I first decided I wanted to work in construction at around the age of 15.

My first job, however, was as an assistant in a high street clothes shop - a stop gap position between finishing school and preparing for my chosen career. I continued to work weekends while attending my first few months of college on a plumbing and heating course. The following January I started my apprenticeship as a plumbing and heating engineer, and I have never looked back.


What does your current role involve?

As a Training Officer, I deliver a variety of training courses to engineers. I deliver Baxi specific product training to help engineers develop a more in-depth understanding of our products, as well as specialist training such as fault finding and system wiring courses. Baxi offer numerous heat pump courses, from a one-day introduction course for installers to get familiar with Baxi Air Source Heat Pumps to a BPEC-accredited heat pump training course including water regulations, as well as a two-day course covering design, installation, commissioning and servicing. I am delighted to be focusing on delivering more of these this year.

I have also had the opportunity to install our ASHPs in some of our Baxi training centres, which has given me a great insight into the installation and commissioning of the units.


What do you see as the challenges facing the industry?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding heat pumps and more education is needed to help people understand and appreciate the benefits that a modern, well-designed heat pump system can bring. Many homeowners are accustomed to homes that are still heated by extremely hot radiators which of course is not the case with heat pumps.

As we know, the key principles of a heat pump in operation are low and constant, so it’s essential to help homeowners understand this. Additionally, many heating engineers are either apprehensive about the reliability of heat pumps, which is mainly down to negative media coverage, or consider it a longer-term ambition rather than an immediate opportunity to upskill and develop a forward-thinking business.

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Again, it shows how education and training is vital to drive the energy transition.


Do you have any mentor’s or anyone in particular who inspires you? (Either in or out of the industry)

I am inspired daily by the depth of knowledge and commitment to learning displayed by every one of my colleagues in the Baxi Training team.


What would you say to other women who are considering coming into the heat pump industry?

I have always been passionate about encouraging more women to consider a career in construction. Currently only 15.8% of the construction industry are women, according to the Office of National Statistics.

The industry is facing a skills shortage, and we cannot afford to deter over half of the population from considering a career in our industry. My career has been incredibly rewarding and I am so grateful for the path it has led me on and the opportunities that have been presented to me.

Heat pumps have an important part to play in the energy transition, and we need

more people to install and maintain them. I would encourage anyone, of any gender, to consider a career in the heat pump industry.

The future is exciting!


What do you like to do outside of work?

I weight train at the gym at least 5 days a week. It is something I have enjoyed doing for many years and I always make time for it. In the last year, my partner and I have been renovating our home, so most of our weekends have been taken up with this!