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Floorlaying apprenticeships – The facts

Increasing the number of apprenticeships available in floorlaying is essential in order to provide a constant and correctly trained source of skills and labour for our industry, says Shaun Wadsworth.

APPRENTICESHIPS are a key focus in helping to battle the skills shortages that we are facing due to an ageing workforce and employing an apprentice can be linked directly to improving the productivity of a business. With this in mind, the CFA is constantly working with industry representatives to maintain, develop and agree apprenticeship standards and frameworks which meet the requirements of the industry, while also offering an attractive career path to young people and also for to people looking to change careers. The aim is also to ensure government funding mechanisms are improved to engage more employers in creating apprenticeship vacancies.

Not only do apprentices address skills shortages, but employers will be getting a keen, motivated member of staff who wants to learn and help your business to grow. According to government statistics, companies who employ apprentices, win more business.

The benefits clearly speak for themselves:

  • 78% of companies reported improved productivity after taking on an apprentice, according to the National Apprenticeship Service
  • Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way for any organisation to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce
  • Apprenticeships are a tried-and-tested way to recruit new staff, re-train or upskill existing staff
  • Up to 100% funding (depending on location and if subject to the Apprenticeship Levy) could be available to support apprenticeship programmes in your business
  • Additional grants and incentives may also be available to businesses actively recruiting apprentices
  • Apprenticeships ensure the workforce has the practical skills needed for the business in the future
  • 90% of apprentices stay on in their place of work after completing an apprenticeship
  • You can employ an apprentice who’s aged 16 up to any age and from any background
  • If you employ an apprentice below the age of 25, you aren’t required to pay employer National Insurance contributions for them

What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a formal system of training people in a set profession with a mixture of ‘on’ and ‘off’ the job training and often accompanying study. It’s a real job where the apprentice can learn, gain experience and get paid. Any apprentice must be an employee with a contract of employment and holiday leave.

Apprentices are developed to help plug the skills gaps in the sector and offer an education route that is vocational. An apprenticeship combines hands-on work with the opportunity to train and obtain qualifications. It’s a paid position with at least 20% of the apprentice’s time set aside for learning, usually at a college or with a training provider.

The rest of the apprentice’s time is spent applying knowledge, skills and behaviours in the workplace. At the end of it, the apprentice will gain official certification, which will be equivalent to or include traditional qualifications such as NVQs. Apprenticeships are supported by work on English and Maths related subjects called Functional Skills in England, Core Skills in Scotland, and Essential Skills in Wales and Northern Ireland.

It can take between two and four years to complete a floorlaying apprenticeship depending on where in the UK the apprentice is based, what level it is and previous experience. It’s funded from contributions made by government and an employer.

There are three essential parts to any apprenticeship

  1. College/training provider training
    A college/training provider tutor will deliver ‘off the job’ training to the apprentice away from the pressures and time constraints of day-to-day work. This training is delivered in controlled environments where an apprentice can develop their skills, knowledge and behaviours that can then be reinforced through opportunities to use what is learnt in real world situations.
  2. Work based evidence to support apprenticeship achievement
    The apprentice will gather and record a wide range of work experience involving collection methods such as photos, videos, diaries, and witness statements. This will be validated once competency has been proven by the apprentice and assessment by the relevant assessment organisation or awarding body.
  3. Assessment and verification
    All apprenticeships require assessment and verification before an apprentice can be classed as competent. Some apprenticeships award a training diploma by verifying and assessing the training achievements throughout the training programme. In Scotland passing an additional Skills Test is required and in England, passing an End-Point Assessment by an End Point Assessment Organisation determines if an apprentice has passed and to what grade.

    The Contract Flooring Industry Training Guide 2023 includes all key information on how to employ, fund and train an apprentice and is available to anyone within the flooring industry. Free copies were sent out with January 2023 CFJ issue and it is also available to read online at or
    0115 9506836
    Shaun Wadsworth is CFA and FITA
    training manager
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