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FloorSkills open day draws the crowds

THE FloorSkills open day, described by the head of FloorSkills, Matt Bourne, as ‘biggest and the best of its kind in the flooring industry’, returned in July.

New for this year were a 7,000sq ft extension (total size now more than 20,000sq ft); new training areas; additional conference rooms; a new warehouse; refit of new training bays and areas; an auditorium; ‘chill-out’ and eating area; and new courses.

In addition, there was more space for manufacturers to showcase; live demos which included textile, LVT and safety flooring; and have-a-go areas.

Tickets to the event got attendees a food voucher to use at the FloorSkills catering wagon; free tea and coffee; entry into the manufacturers’ prize draw, which included first, second and third place; and charitable donations.

‘It’s an excellent way to network with contractors and see the developments in the type of projects they’re involved with and the products they use,’ Alec Stacey of Bona told CFJ. ‘One can also gauge what products may be of future interest and how the emphasis of marketing and training can be adapted or improved. It was particularly interesting to talk to contractors we’d rarely have contact with, particularly with regard to resilient flooring. Of course, it is also great to see what the competitors are doing too.’

Jon Turbutt, Uzin Utz Tools national brand manager, told us: ‘We attended the FloorSkills open day to support their training school and to show the attendees the range of hand-tools we have to offer the industry. Adam Lewis gave live demonstrations all day and engaged several floorlayers with the Wolff Brand and the products and solutions we offer.’

The number of flooring professionals attending was ‘very good and at times we were two-to-three deep watching the live demonstrations in which the floorlayers were given the opportunity to try out some of the hand-tools being shown, which was a great success’.

Jon pointed out that Wolff Tools supports several training facilities in the UK. ‘We believe training is a key aspect for all floorlayers of all ages and abilities. Our range of tools and machines are designed to make the life of a floorlayer easier and to enable quality results with every use.

‘Our range includes stripping machines from the new Independence battery powered ride on to 18v handheld Junio strippers, grinding machines for the removal of old compounds, adhesives and laitance on calcium sulphate screeds, Samba buffing machines and a comprehensive range of everyday hand-tools.’

Mark Findlay, founder of Harvey Maria, said: ‘FloorSkills and Harvey Maria have enjoyed a valued partnership for many years. They provide our monthly LVT training courses, which are crucial for improving installation skills and imparting knowledge about the unique Harvey Maria design portfolio.
‘We’ve been involved in several events at FloorSkills, including open days and ‘Fitter of the Year’ competitions, and have always found them to be informative and great for sourcing new customers. These events are so important for promoting the design ranges offered by manufacturers, as well as endorsing the importance of regularly updating installation skills with the courses offered by FloorSkills.’

And Stuart Bourne, managing director of Kick-Start Publishing, which publishes CFJ, said: ‘CFJ has always been an avid supporter of training in the industry. Whether it’s bringing new talent to the flooring industry via apprenticeships, learning new skills or refresher courses, it’s important for floorlayers to keep up-to-date with new product developments and we must attract school-leavers and people moving industries to join the flooring industry.

‘We’ll always support the training centres and FloorSkills is a key provider so we were happy to support this amazing open day.’

FloorSkills is based in Solihull near Birmingham, and is described as Europe’s largest independent commercial flooring training centre with more than 8,000sq ft of dedicated training area including 50 bays.

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