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The CFA Flooring Apprentice of the Year competition 2024 – enter now!

Shaun urges contractors to take note of the deadline for entries for this year’s competition as the need for apprenticeships becomes more important than ever.

THE Contract Flooring Association has always strived to promote and support the future of the floorlaying sector through dedicated publications, its own training arm FITA, the Future Fitters campaign and the commitment to increase provision of apprenticeship delivery to wider parts of the UK.

There’s no doubt, however, that the centrepiece to all of this is the increasingly popular Flooring Apprentice of the Year Competition. This has consistently been a fantastic way for employers, FE colleges and training providers to give their apprentice(s) the recognition they deserve by entering them into this highly valued competition and I’m pleased to announce that entries for 2024 are now being taken through the dedicated portal on our website

The CFA is extremely proud to promote this award which has become a regular feature in the flooring industry calendar and emphasises the dedication and achievements of flooring apprentices across the UK. It is a platform for apprentices to highlight the skills that they have learnt during their apprenticeships and for the companies that employ the apprentices to get involved, it shows their commitment to training their workforce and their investment in the next generation of flooring fitters.

The level of support shown for our apprentices each year with the submissions received and the prizes donated is something that we are continually amazed by and also something that the flooring industry should be immensely proud of. It demonstrates just how committed all areas of the flooring industry are in supporting training to develop a highly skilled and competent workforce for the future.

Competitions like this promote the very best the industry has to offer and serve as a reminder of what good quality training can lead to. I hope the competition also shows just how invaluable formal training programmes like apprenticeships really are. That is why we believe the Flooring Apprentice of the Year competition is a crucial way to promote the sector to the next generation of floorlayer.

Why enter?
If you employ a superb apprentice who is adding value to your business, with masses of potential, ingenuity and talent, then why not work with them to submit an entry and celebrate their success. It is also incredibly good for the profile of the business who employs them. It’s great receiving recognition for a job well done from time to time, and so if you have someone who is putting 100% effort into their training and consistently producing excellent results, then this competition is for them. If you work within a college or training provider and you have spotted a talented individual, please let the employer know so that you can all work together to submit an entry.

How to enter
Submit entries directly though the CFA website at from January 3 – March 31, 2024. Entering the competition is easy but relies specifically on the apprentice, their employer and their training provider submitting information, supporting comments and evidence of projects or activity that show just how good the nominee is.

Who can enter?
To enter the competition the apprentice must be attending an industry recognised off-the-job floorlaying apprenticeship programme at an FE College or with a private training provider to learn the knowledge and skills of the trade.

What does the winner receive?
The competition entries are judged by a panel made up of a respected group of CFA council members with a vast wealth of experience in flooring and backed by superb support from our sponsors, providing the entrants with a chance to win a prize list valued at over £9000 including cash donations, shopping vouchers and thousands of pounds worth of high-quality products, training days, tools and equipment for the winning apprentice.

These fantastic prizes will be presented by the sponsors themselves at the FITA Training Centre, Loughborough on 20 June 2024 at the prizegiving ceremony. The lucky apprentice will also have the honour of attending the CFJ Awards in September 2024 too, officially receiving recognition for their award alongside all other illustrious winners in front of an audience made up of the industry’s top flooring contractors and manufacturers.

Meet last year’s winner – Mike Waldron
Mike, who has recently completed his apprentcieship is employed by Hillside Contracts, Leicester and attended off-the-job training with Floortrain GB in Doncaster. Hillside Contracts are CFA members, but it is important to note that you don’t have to be a member of the CFA to enter.

Alongside Mike’s excellent answers to the application questions, he also provided a fantastic case study based on a 4,400 square metre commercial flooring project he worked on for his employer coverings a wide range of flooring types. Mike also supplied the judges with an in-depth video highlighting his learnt skills in practice and included a voiceover of how he became a floorlayer and his ambition to help others do the same by becoming a Go Construct STEM Ambassador for flooring and supporting the CFA Future Fitters campaign.

The application was also backed with great recommendations from both his employer and his tutor that led the judges to their unanimous decision that Mike was a more than worthy winner.

Mike had the following to say about winning the competition: ‘To be crowned CFA Flooring Apprentice of the Year 2023 is an incredible feeling, to win an award judged by the CFA is an amazing moment in my flooring apprenticeship. Coming into the flooring industry can be daunting but I have been overwhelmed by the huge range of support, training and guidance offered from so many avenues in the trade. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me to get here, everyone at Floortrain including my tutors Dean and Keith and all of the great team at Hillside Contracts who have been so generous with their time and sharing their experiences, in particular Dave Williams.’

Jo Singer, director at Hillside Contracts said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled that Mike has been awarded the winner of the CFA 2023 Flooring Apprentice of the Year Competition. He has worked extremely hard over the last year and has shown outstanding dedication to learning.

Mike is a great asset to Hillside Contracts Ltd along with our other four apprentices who have all exceeded our expectations. Our apprentices are a vital part of the longevity of our company and the flooring industry, and we encourage others to invest in the next generation of floorlayers.’
0115 9506836
Shaun Wadsworth is CFA and FITA
training manager

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