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Engaging with the next generation

Shaun details how the CFA and FITA collaborated to run the first Open Doors Construction event for the floorlaying sector.

Open Doors, delivered by Build UK, took visitors behind the scenes to highlight the fantastic range of careers available in construction, with 220 events participating across Great Britain between Monday 18 and Saturday 23 March 2024. One of those events was organised by CFA in collaboration with FITA at the FITA training centre in Loughborough highlighting the significance of flooring within the broader context of construction projects.

Visitors from a wide range of schools in the East Midlands area were invited to the training centre and given the opportunity to get hands on and experience firsthand just what a floorlayers day to day activities look like included having a go at installing floors, presentations, speaking to ex-apprentices about our sector and advice on career pathway opportunities.

Under the watchful eye Adam Chapman (FITA Training Officer) and Quinn Gregory of Hillside Contracts those visitors experienced the role of a floorlayer, used floorlaying tools and equipment and got to grips with materials and products floorlayers install every day.

The aim of the event was to serve as an educational platform, offering students the opportunity to witness floorlaying in action and provide them with a better understanding of the industry. I hope that this type of exposure to floorlaying inspires future generations to pursue a career in flooring and highlight the role that flooring installers plays in wider construction and refurbishment projects.

At the heart of Open Doors Construction one thing is clear, it is an opportunity to provide students with exposure to real-life construction sites, training locations and manufacturing facilities. Looking wider than our own trade it is clear that supporting Open Doors Construction is not only beneficial for the flooring industry but also for the construction sector as a whole with over 200 events taking place across the UK during 18-23 March 2024.

Participating in Open Doors Construction is easy for the flooring industry, offering lots of ways to get involved. Whether through sponsoring the event, hosting site visits, or providing demonstrations in conjunction with others. By opening their doors to students and their schools, flooring companies can inspire the next generation and generate lasting partnerships with local educational settings.

For us at CFA and FITA It was a fantastic event that I am extremely proud of being able to host for a number of reasons but primarily as it gave a perfect opportunity for those schools to witness our specialist construction sector in more detail.

The feedback for the event was outstanding; ‘Students attended the FITA floor layer taster day in Loughborough. Shaun was a great host, giving relevant information on careers in the industry. Students were then able to get hands on and have a go at various with Adam. It has opened their eyes to opportunities in the floor laying industry. They all had a great time and are looking forward to going back again next year! ‘

Helen Diggle, employment co-ordinator, Brackenfield SEND School ‘Great experience and one that is vitally important for young people in helping them have varied opportunities.’

Ash, CP Riversi e
If you are looking for ways to engage with the next generation of potential floorlayer and raise the profile of flooring to those making choices about their future I can highly recommend Open Doors Construction. CFA and FITA will be building on this event and looking to increase our commitment in 2025 so if any contractors, manufacturers or other providers want more information please do get in touch.
0115 9506836
Shaun Wadsworth is CFA and FITA training manager

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