‘A very exciting challenge’

Shaun Wadsworth, the CFA’s new training manager, introduces himself to the sector

I’M pleased to introduce myself as the CFA’s new training manager. First, let me tell you a little bit about my background.

I started my working life as an apprentice upholsterer in the furniture industry and quickly progressed onto an advanced apprenticeship. Both stints gave me important trade and life skills required for my chosen career and triggered a real interest in training and learning.

A few years after my training was completed, and with some industry experience, I began working for WEBS Training in Nottingham (the training provider I’d attended as an apprentice).

Over the following 12 years, I was able to progress from assisting in the delivery of training, to delivering training courses as head of department, to writing and managing training courses outright. I was during this time also invited to work on the Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standards for Furniture and increase my own CPD by completing a certificate in education at Nottingham Trent University.

Moving to the CFA is a very exciting challenge that I relish and am already enjoying. During the interview stage and in subsequent discussions with Richard Catt and Helen Tidmarsh, it’s obvious the values presented by the CFA very closely reflect my own.

These include supporting excellent craftsmanship, promoting businesses, ensuring training for members is of the highest standard, and providing the right services for delegates at the right time. I’m incredibly eager to hit the ground running with some very exciting projects for the CFA and Fita in the near future.

Not only is it amazing to take on the training manager role in a specialist sector with the CFA team, it’s even better to realise that my predecessor, Mick O’Flynn (and the wider team), has created such a solid platform that I can build on as I take over the mantle. With this in mind, I can whole-heartedly promise that I’ll continue his good practice going forward.

I was delighted to find that not only does the CFA have a very professional approach to providing membership services, but it also has its own well-equipped training centre in Fita, which is of course a joint venture with the NICF.

Looking after Fita is one of the main parts of my role and so it’s fantastic to see the wide range of excellent quality driven floorcovering programmes at contract and domestic level. I’ve been pleased to see the outstanding reviews and feedback from delegates.

Having had time to settle in, I’m amazed by the facilities and fully understand why it’s the leading not-for-profit training organisation in the country. I’m impressed by the level of knowledge the industry experts running the training courses have and the materials, space, tools and resources available through the centre.

Much of this is of course through sponsor support from within the industry, which is also clearly very strong. I’m already convinced it really is one of the best - if not the best - place for flooring training.

I mentioned I was impressed by the facilities, but one of my first responsibilities is to lead a project to improve the facilities even further (of which there will be more details to follow in the near future) which makes my starting point with the CFA and Fita a very exciting one indeed - something I can really get my teeth in to from day one.

I’m a huge believer in the positive impact quality training can bring to an individual or a company as a whole and believe a skilled workforce should not be overlooked. I understand the variable pressures of business and want to help CFA and NICF members and of course the wider industry any way possible to develop the skills needed for the future.

I’m already aware of the skills and labour shortage in the industry and so with my background and the opportunities of Fita I look forward to the chance to help address this issue.

So, now I’m up-and-running, don’t hesitate to contact me on any matters relating to training. Be that practical training through Fita or wider training issues as a CFA member. I really do look forward to working with all of you over the coming months and years.
M: 07554 015215
O: 0115 9411126
shaun@cfa.org.uk
shaun@fita.co.uk
Shaun Wadsworth is CFA training manager