The IPG has announced Carl Ladd (@GasLadd) as a brand ambassador, who will help spread the word about the work of independent businesses in our industry. 

Installer spoke to Carl at the IPG Conference about his journey to the tools, the state of the industry, and why he likes to shop independent: 

Q: How did you get into the industry? 

Carl: “I was a carpenter by trade but I had a big accident. My hand was crushed and I was told I’d never be able to work manually again. It was my right hand which was my dominant one, but I did the rehab, learned to work with my left and ended up making a recovery. I kind of fell into it as I was offered a plumber’s labourer job. I was 35 at the time, I had a mortgage, dogs, and bills to pay so I dove into it. I really enjoyed it, we were working on new build sites and it was hard work, dirty, running around a lot but there is so much skill involved, and so much attention to detail and I fit right in. They saw I was loving it so they asked if I wanted to do an apprenticeship. I had to weigh it up but it was a good chance to grow my career so I did five years there honing my skills, and working towards my gas.” 

Q: What sort of work do you do now? 

Carl: “I’m a heating installer and at the minute it’s 50/50 heat pumps and boilers. I met a couple of quality engineers through the Heating Installer Awards, Liam Barry and Mark Hall, and I’m working with them. They both won categories in the HI Awards like I did, and they are top engineers. I really love the renewables, I love the big pipes and the green credentials, but I’m working towards my ACS as well so I’ll be Gas Safe and then the future is bright.  

“I’m learning from the absolute best in Liam and Mark, they have phenomenal knowledge. We’re still in a transition period in the UK where a lot of people now only want, or can afford a boiler, and that’s fine, there’s lots of things you can do to install that and make it as efficient as possible. But there’s a growing heat pump market, so if you’re setting yourself up now to work with both gas and renewables, and build out your experience, you’re onto a winner. The skills are transferable as well. The way we install gas boilers with weather compensation, larger pipes, properly-sized radiators, it’s futureproofing the system.” 

Q: Tell us about your Heating Installer Awards win 

Carl: “I was lucky enough to be named the Rising Star winner at the Heating Installer Awards in 2021. It was amazing when my name was read out at InstallerSHOW. As an older apprentice, there can be a stigma against you so it was amazing to be recognised. It’s a stamp of quality, it shows I’ve been recognised as being good at what I do. And it’s a great networking opportunity. As I said, it’s where I met Mark and Liam but all the winners are working to such high levels, it’s great to meet them, pick their brains, and try to drive each other forward.” 

Q: And most recently you’ve signed up with The IPG as a Brand Ambassador, how did that come about? 

Carl: “I’d seen the logo on stores and social media but I got to meet the team as they are sponsoring the 2024 Heating Installer Awards and they showed me what an impressive outfit The IPG is. I really like what their mentality is and the push for installers to shop independent. I use my local supplier and the quality of service is top notch. If you get to a job in the morning and you have an emergency, I know they’re on the end of the phone, and they’ll even deliver straight to me.  

 “We can sometimes be set in our ways, and only shop in the places that we’ve always done, but it’s always worth seeing what else is on offer. If you’ve been walking past your independent with The IPG logo over the door, I’d advise you to go in and try it out. You will get great prices, and top service from people who know exactly what they’re doing. That’s why I’m excited to be working with The IPG, and helping show installers just how good it can be to shop independent.” 

To find out more about The IPG and locate your nearest store, please visit: The IPG | Buy the Best Plumbing, Heating & Bathroom Brands at Great Prices

Visit Carl at InstallerSHOW on Wednesday 26 June on The IPG’s stand number 4I14. Register for your free ticket to InstallerSHOW here 

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