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Belgian odyssey opens up widerprospectus of training at FITA

Shaun has the story as FITA training consultants attend CPD at the BerryAlloc Academy, Belgium.

As the approved training arm of the Contract Flooring Association (CFA) and the National Institute of Carpet & Floorlayers (NICF) it is imperative that FITA training consultants continue to develop and enhance their skills to ensure the best possible training when delivering FITA course content. All FITA training consultants continue to run their own businesses, alongside delivering training, continually expanding their extensive knowledge of the flooring industry in real world environments and allowing them to engage and support delegates attending training courses, who want to link training environments with real live installation scenarios.

FITA also supports its training consultants by offering regular Continuous Professional Development to ensure sustained high-quality delivery and assessment. Our recent trip with a selection of instructors to the BerryAlloc Academy in Menen, Belgium, was an excellent example of this. BerryAlloc are one of many FITA manufacturer sponsors who support training in the UK, working with FITA to subsidise training through philanthropic investment. Part of the Beaulieu International Group, BerryAlloc have been a premier sponsor of FITA since 2021, supporting the delivery of laminate, floating floor and LVT training. So, it was fantastic when Scott Arundell, UK and Ireland Sales Director, invited our training consultants to the BerryAlloc Factory and Academy in Belgium to spend two days exploring their wide range of products alongside Technical Flooring Expert Olivier Dedecker, Area Sales Manager Sean Walcroft and Academy Coach Vincent Peirsegaele.

Camille Vanden Berghe, BerryAlloc Marketing and Communication Specialist UK & ROW outlined to us that ‘The BerryAlloc Academy offers professionals the opportunity to improve on their knowledge and skills and to gain confidence in BerryAlloc products including technical installation information and highly valuable advice on product selection. Both flexible and structured, each training course is based on BerryAlloc’s expertise and is perfectly adapted to the needs of delegates. Covering around thirty essential themes – training covers click systems, site damage, guarantees etc as well as the competitive environment or sustainable development – the Academy designs a tailor-made program for each session.’

Once in Belgium our time started with an in depth look at BerryAlloc as a brand and how it sits within the wider Beaulieu International Group, courtesy of Vincent. Olivier then gave us an overview of the wide array of products designed for both commercial and residential projects, ranging from laminate, high pressure floors, parquet and vinyl plank/tile in preparation for some fitting on day two. The first day finished with Vincent showing us the manufacturing capacity in Menen, as well as their extensive laboratory and testing areas all located on site.

Day two was all hands-on, with FITA training consultants Shane Moore, Doug Castle, Jason Draper and Jamie Addison splitting into two groups to spend the day with Olivier getting to grips with the wide range of products in a dedicated training academy set up within the factory.

The full range was covered with Olivier’s extensive knowledge of the products, ensuring that when the FITA training consultants left Belgium they would be able to replicate this back in the UK, a key reason for attending the academy in Menen. With all sponsors FITA offers the opportunity to help develop, deliver and assess training through collaboration and this is a great example of that in practice.

The overall aim of the two-day visit was to ensure FITA training consultants could offer the same brand-specific training on behalf of BerryAlloc in the UK with a focus on a genuine collaborative approach. FITA training consultants left the academy with a great sense of confidence ready for delivery in the UK in 2023. As training manager for FITA and CFA, I believe it’s imperative these kinds of links are established to drive good quality training, and I was over the moon with the interaction between FITA and BerryAlloc over the two-day period. I want to thank BerryAlloc for their hospitality and for inviting us out to Belgium to spend time with the technical staff. It will be of great benefit to both organisation and the wider industry in the future as we look to deliver an even wider prospectus of training at FITA in the future.
0115 9506836
Shaun Wadsworth is CFA and FITA
training manager

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