It’s win-win with Fita bespoke training

Shaun Wadsworth speaks to ege’s technical manager, Spencer Garratt to get an insight into why the bespoke course model works so well for ege in terms of the products, installation and end-user.

AS I settle into my new role as training manager at the CFA and Fita, I’ve had the privilege of meeting just some of the hundreds of delegates that pass through the doors at Fita in Loughborough each year, from employees of manufacturers through to self-employed contractors.

Some were attending training courses, others were attending meetings held in our dedicated conference room.

There are more than 25 standard training courses available through Fita from basic to advanced, delivered by instructors with up-to-date specialist knowledge of the flooring industry. These standard courses and workshops are promoted through the CFA and NICF, with members of these two trade associations even getting 15% discount on bookings.

Standard courses are also advertised monthly to the wider flooring industry through the CFJ and of course through our website www.fita.co.uk

Something that isn’t as well known, is that Fita also runs bespoke courses for manufacturers and contractors. These cater for organisations that want training that’s unique and tailor-made to their products.

Bespoke courses have recently become hugely popular, particularly with manufacturers who want to ensure their products are correctly fitted to the standard expected at the point of manufacture.

There are actually a couple of other drivers: Many manufacturers are finding it more and more difficult to grow sales because of an increasingly evident shortage of floorlayers. We can help manufacturers design courses that upskill (eg take a carpet fitter and convert them to LVT installers as well as hone existing skills).

Whatever the motivation or drivers, brand loyalty (relationship building) is also a recognised benefit for these bespoke training courses delivered by Fita.

One manufacturer that has used the Fita training centre for bespoke training in recent months is CFA member ege Carpets. ege is one of Europe’s leading companies in regards to design, development and production of unique, high-quality carpets with respect for the environment.

I spoke to Spencer Garratt, technical manager for ege Carpets to get an insight into why the bespoke course model works so well for ege in terms of the products, installation and end-user.

What prompted you to look at the  bespoke training?
AS UK technical manager for ege Carpets, my job role is very varied as you’d expect. I wear many hats and one of these is training.

The existing training school is at our factory in Billund, Denmark and requires three days including travel. Now don’t get me wrong, it was and still is a great experience but a little impractical for flooring companies which want to become ege-accredited. So, we needed to replicate this facility in the UK.

The CFA is always a great place to start with training needs, so I contacted Richard Catt who I knew from our days working at Amtico and asked if there was an option to structure a UK-based one-day training school at the Fita training centre in Loughborough specifically for ege.

The challenge was to condense the course into a format that worked for both parties. It had to be hands-on and at a level which covered the necessary skills required, while at the same time not being condescending. And most importantly it had to be fun.

What’s the importance of ensuring you educate people on your products and how they should be fitted?
FOR ege it’s really about forging lasting relationships with the flooring contractors, architects and designers. The flooring contractors are given the necessary knowledge to see how our products handle on a practical level, and architects and designers then know we go that extra mile in helping make their visions happen.

With Fita’s guidance and the expert knowledge of Steve Ramsden, we were able to achieve what we set out to do and we now look forward to booking our third fitting course this year for another 10 people with Fita in October.

What are the benefits of having this type of bespoke training take place?
THE benefits are tangible really for ourselves and the course delegates. If our carpets aren’t installed correctly – the outcome isn’t a good one for us, the contractor, the specifier or the end-user. By providing advice and training at the right end of the whole process, we ensure the unique ege carpet design is delivered on time, on budget and installed correctly.

Flooring contractors work with us on great projects and a good outcome with a delighted client is a win-win situation for us all.

I really can’t be happier with how the training developed and delivered here in the UK by the CFA and Fita has been received. ege is proud to be a CFA member and is committed to supporting the organisation wherever possible in the future.

For information on all training needs, bespoke courses or information and guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
shaun@cfa.org.uk
Shaun Wadsworth is CFA training manager