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Forbo partners with FITA training programme

IT’s no secret that there is a skill demand in the flooring industry, with the number of flooring fitters falling year-on-year. In response to this, Forbo Flooring Systems has partnered with the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA) to run specialised training courses to upskill fitters in the installation of its linoleum floorcovering, Marmoleum.

With estimates showing that between 2004 and 2020 the number of floorers and wall tilers decreased by 16,000, the industry is looking at a potential 80% decrease in contractors in the next 25 years.

This shortage of skilled labour has led to a decline in quality installs of sustainable floorcoverings, such as linoleum, something which is in high demand and continuing to grow as more clients look to move to more sustainable projects using solutions made from natural materials.

With this in mind, Forbo has chosen to partner with FITA, an independent, not-for-profit organisation, seeking to equip flooring fitters with the knowledge and skills required to deliver a high-quality installation service.

The training programme is delivered from two specialist training facilities in Loughborough (England) and Kirkcaldy (Scotland), offering more than 20 different training courses at various levels from professional instructors who have years of industry knowledge.

Forbo’s two courses, ‘Marmoleum Installation – basic’ and ‘Marmoleum Installation – intermediate’, are designed to improve the industry standard of its Marmoleum fitting and Forbo is offering those who complete the course a full set of tools to support their new skills in practice.

Aimed at those who are new to the industry or to Marmoleum as a product, the basic course covers the ‘must know’ basics of Marmoleum installations. It introduces the British Standards on Resilient Floorcoverings (BS 8203:2017) and discusses the recognition of different subfloor types and how they can affect installation, as well as the importance of correct material specification.

It also looks to teach the correct usage of tools, equipment and PPE, as well as an overview on joining Marmoleum using hot welding and net fit seams.

The intermediate course takes this one step further and is ideal for those who already have experience with Marmoleum and want to improve on their previously learned skills. This level covers BS 8203 in more detail, before delving into more advanced training on Forbo’s Marmoleum and the considerations to be made when installing the product in more complicated settings, such as cove forming, internal and external corners and picture framing.

Craig Thornhill, technical services manager from Forbo Flooring Systems spoke on the FITA partnership, saying: ‘We’re conscious that the demand for skilled fitters in the industry is beginning to have an impact on those looking to have sustainable floorcoverings such as linoleum fitted. With this in mind, we formed the partnership with FITA, to do our bit in helping tackle this issue and encourage fitters to be more confident with correctly installing linoleum floorcoverings.

‘We’re proud to be the only manufacturer to currently offer a joint course with FITA and as an incentive, we’re offering a bundle of tools to fitters who complete the course, so once they’ve passed, they can hit the ground running.’

To view FITA’s courses or to book your spot on the Marmoleum course, visit: https://fita.co.uk/Flooring-Training-Courses/

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