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HomeLatest NewsGower College Swansea launches new floorcovering apprenticeship to address skills shortage in...

Gower College Swansea launches new floorcovering apprenticeship to address skills shortage in the industry

THE CFA initiative ‘Future Fitters’ has already been the catalyst for several new developments in extending floorlayer training to more locations in the UK so it’s fantastic to hear that through consultation and support from CFA and its members, there’s now once again a dedicated training provider in Wales for the floorcovering apprenticeship.

This is a fantastic achievement for all involved and really showcases how the whole of industry can rally to provide training solutions for the flooring sector. I’m personally over the moon that CFA could support with this venture and will continue to support with clear signposting guidance through our dedicated Training Guide 2024.

I asked Gower College to provide an overview of their programme, how they’re supporting floorlaying and the benefits of the Level 2 Floor Covering Apprenticeship:

Gower College Swansea is delighted to announce a brand-new Level 2 Floor Covering apprenticeship aimed at developing a new generation of skilled professionals in the flooring industry. With a pressing shortage of skilled workers in our sector, the apprenticeship offers an exceptional opportunity to develop essential skills, knowledge, and behaviours vital for a successful career in flooring.

With increasing enquiries to the National Training Federation Wales (NTFW), Gower College Swansea worked with employers across Wales, along with the Contract Flooring Association (CFA) to shape and develop this apprenticeship programme designed to equip learners with the technical expertise, practical experience, and broader skills crucial for excelling in the dynamic floor covering sector. By working through a comprehensive programme, apprentices will gain hands-on experience, utilising cutting-edge materials and tools within a supportive learning environment where they can hone their craft.

‘We take immense pride in launching our innovative floor covering apprenticeship. This pioneering programme not only bridges industry skill gaps, but also nurtures a new pool of talented professionals, shaping the future of the flooring sector in Wales,’ stated Bruce Fellowes, head of GCS Training.

One employer championing this new pathway is CFA contractor member Floor Furnishings, based in Cardiff, which previously had to send their apprentices to Liverpool for training and can now see the benefits of having a local apprenticeship programme. Another key factor for their involvement was the financial support and guidance provided by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

Jaydon, a 21-year-old apprentice from Floor Furnishings has shared his experience: ‘Since starting at Floor Furnishings, my life’s taken a positive turn. I’m now in a job where I can learn new things every day, surrounded by a great team of hardworking fitters encouraging me to learn more and progress. There are big opportunities within this trade if you work hard. I now look forward to going to work and college which has given me a purpose. I aim to be a fully qualified fitter soon, so that I will be able to develop my employment in Floor Furnishings, earn more and hopefully run my own business one day!’

The Level 2 apprenticeship curriculum encompasses an array of mandatory units aimed at providing a holistic understanding of the industry. From crucial topics such as health and safety, welfare in construction to customer relationship development and installation techniques for various floorcoverings, apprentices will receive comprehensive training, empowering them to become proficient in their field.

One notable aspect of this apprenticeship is its inclusivity, requiring no formal entry qualifications. Aspiring individuals passionate about a career in floorcovering, already working in the sector, can seize this opportunity without prior training requirements. A minimum employment contract duration that aligns with the apprenticeship period (24 months) is the sole prerequisite.

Under the apprenticeship framework, participants will undertake Level 1 courses, complementing their practical and theoretical learning. This multi-faceted approach ensures a well-rounded educational experience, covering essential aspects crucial for success in the industry.

Delivered through a blend of practical sessions utilising state-of-the-art workshop facilities and theoretical lessons to reinforce practical knowledge, the apprenticeship ensures a comprehensive learning journey. Assessment methods include practical assignments and written assessments, validating the skills acquired throughout the program.

Benefits of the Level 2 Floor Covering Apprenticeship as a learner:

  • Hands-on experience: Learn the practical skills of flooring installation and maintenance through hands-on experience under experienced professionals.
  • Industry knowledge: Gain a comprehensive understanding of flooring materials, safety procedures, customer service, and industry standards.
  • Recognition: Earn a recognised qualification to enhance employability.
  • No debt: Earn while you learn – no fees!

‘At Gower College Swansea, we pride ourselves on working with our partner organisations and the relationships we build. We will work with you to deliver training flexibly to meet your organisation needs. We are so pleased to have started working with a number of organisations across Wales and look forward to working with the sector moving forward.’

Benefits of the Level 2 Floor Covering Apprenticeship as an employer:

  • Skill development and tailored training: Apprenticeships help employers shape and train their workforce to fit specific organisational needs. Tailored programs address skill gaps, providing employees with aligned training, resulting in a highly skilled workforce meeting the organisation’s unique demands.
  • Retention and employee loyalty: Investing in apprenticeships shows dedication to staff development, boosting retention and loyalty. It offers growth opportunities within roles, fostering a learning culture that retains staff, lowers turnover, and saves on hiring expenses.
  • Increased productivity and innovation: Apprenticeships boost productivity by enabling employees to apply new skills directly, enhancing job performance. They also bring fresh ideas, fostering innovation, as continuously learning employees are more adaptable to new techniques, benefiting the organisation.

For those ready to become skilled floorcovering specialists, Gower College Swansea’s apprenticeship offers the ideal platform to transform aspirations into achievements, setting the stage for a fulfilling and successful career in this thriving industry.

For more information, use the contact details below.
01792 284400
Shaun Wadsworth is CFA training manager

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