CMN Training, part of Cornwall Marine Network, has worked with Andy Hardy of Cornwall Carpets and Flooring to develop the first employer-led flooring apprenticeship programme, available at a dedicated training centre in Launceston, Cornwall.
Off to a flying carpet start, six apprentices have already been recruited on this pilot and there’s scope for two more.
During the pandemic, Andy Hardy, MD of Cornwall Carpets and Flooring was able to design the apprenticeship based on real work-based requirements.
Andy said: ‘Since I started in the industry training and education has been a passion of mine. Whilst establishing my business, Cornwall Carpet and Flooring in 1999, I carried out my assessor training. I started developing the concept a few years ago but during the first lockdown I had time to develop, refine and write a dedicated manual. I then contacted Mark Williams, director of CMN Training to open discussions about accreditation. We ran the pilot flooring apprenticeship in September 2021.
A floorlayer is a trained craftsperson who’ll be involved with the installation of carpets, vinyl, linoleum, and rubber as well as laminate and wood flooring. Floorlayers work for large and small employers in all types of buildings within a diverse range of commercial and domestic environments. However what many don’t realise is that there’s a huge number of flooring choices, all requiring different approaches, adhesives, and treatments.
Andy continued: ‘There are thousands of carpet and flooring choices. Coupled with changing interior trends and higher customer expectations we believe our training regime and staff progression offers our clients the perfect choice.
‘Cornwall Carpets and Flooring has adopted eco and circular sustainable business practices. We ensure we keep ahead of changing trends in interiors as well as making sure we offer customers choice. We cover Devon and Cornwall and are an established business totally focused on great customer service.
‘I believe in growing talent locally in our custom-designed training facility located in Launceston. Training is carried out here on the premises and on the job so our apprentices don’t need to attend college. This means we can give local people the opportunity to join as an apprentice with opportunities to progress to management, trainers, and assessors. James Hardy started as a trainee with us 20 years ago and now heads up the practical side of the training and is working toward his assessor qualification with CMN Training.’
CMN Training is now registered to deliver the nationally approved Apprenticeship Standard as well as a bespoke new qualification accredited through the Open College Network at Level 2. This involves practical assessment and project-based work.
As Mark Williams, CMN’s director ESF said: ‘This is a project I’ve been supporting for several years and I’m absolutely delighted we’ve managed to bring this concept to market. Flooring is a complicated and expensive purchase for developers and homeowners alike – even from the most basic through to designer solutions flooring involves a diverse range of skills, work environments, designs and materials so it’s vital it’s installed by suitably skilled and qualified people.
‘I’m likewise delighted the highly experienced Andy Hardy of Cornwall Carpets is working with us to provide the training input required and carry out assessments from the dedicated training centre in Launceston. CMN Training can provide recruitment support and funding for apprenticeships as well as the ongoing development of skills for employers.’
CMN has secured funding from the Business Clusters and Employer Led Skills (ELS) projects to support the initial development and ongoing delivery of the programme, providing additional value beyond the core apprenticeship support.