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Funding crisis – supporting the continuation offlooring apprenticeship delivery in Scotland

Shaun’s update on the ongoing conversations and lobbying CFA provides on behalf of members and the wider industry to ensure Scottish apprenticeships.

THIS month I want to provide an update on the ongoing conversations and lobbying CFA is providing on behalf of its members and the wider industry to ensure Scottish apprenticeships in our sector continue to be accessible and that the number of places offered meets industry demand.

Readers should be aware (if they are not already) that there is extremely dedicated support for training within Scottish floorlaying and in particular for the floorcovering apprenticeship currently available via City of Glasgow College. Many Scottish contractors will be CITB levy payers and make yearly levy contributions to CITB creating an opportunity to claim back grant from CITB for completed training of staff within the business.

In the summer of 2022 CFA through its dedicated Scottish Committee approached City of Glasgow College to discuss the opportunity of increasing provision of delivery to allow more apprentices to be trained. They were disappointed to find out that the floorlaying apprenticeship was actually underfunded, and the college was making a loss on every course delivered and had considered whether it could continue to deliver the apprenticeship in the future. CFA and its Scottish committee could not knowingly allow this to happen and so began lobbying the college and CITB to come together and establish a solution to ensure the apprenticeship remained.

After several meetings, I am delighted to say that through that lobbying and the dedication of our Scottish committee, CITB have committed to offset the financial deficit for City of Glasgow College running the floorlaying course for the next three classes in its current delivery form.

This covers the January 2023 class already underway, as well as employers currently on a backlog list, believed to be around twenty-eight apprenticeship candidates. This ensures the college are not running these courses at a loss and CITB will cover the shortfall in costs as an immediate support package. City of Glasgow will confirm future course start dates from the college training aspect, but this is provisionally pencilled in for Sep 2023.

With short-term additional funding secured for the college, CFA will now continue to look at helping the college, CITB, relevant awarding bodies and funding agencies to review the current apprenticeship and increase the current Government funding supplied to the college for floorcovering apprenticeship delivery in the longer term. For this we have asked CFA Scottish members to lend their support when the time comes to help the college with a review of the course delivery in line with completion of other working groups currently taking place.

Finally, CFA are also working with CITB, the College and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) to find ways that on-site evidence can be more effectively gathered to support apprentices building a portfolio. Collecting this evidence is a key part of the apprenticeship and has to be completed before the apprentice can be certificated. This has become a further barrier to ongoing delivery for the college and a task that added stress to resource and funding. We hope to assist with new ways to approach this and have already provided some input. We are awaiting feedback from SQA.

If you would like to support the funding review to help secure the long-term future of floorcovering apprenticeships in Scotland or want to know more about the progress CFA have made in this area, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.For more information on any training relating questions, you can also access the Contract Flooring Industry Training Guide 2023 for free at
0115 9506836
Shaun Wadsworth is CFA and FITA training manager

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