Contract Flooring Journal (CFJ) the latest news for flooring contractors

HomeTrainingUnlocking potential

Unlocking potential

Training plans are the key to unlocking the full potential on investing in staff training, says Shaun Wadsworth.

I wanted to concentrate this month on a conversation I have regularly with CFA members when helping to support their need/desire to train staff that inevitably leads to a couple of key questions – where do I begin in training staff? And where do I find the time to train?
The planning of training within any business, regardless of its size cannot be overstated, it holds the key to unlocking the potential of employees and helps to drive businesses by investing in their staff at the right time for the right purpose.

From my own experience with the CFA training arm FITA, the demand for places on our courses, and general increase in use of the training centre, has been staggering over the past three years. With the help of FITA’s highly skilled training consultants, supportive manufacturer sponsors and its dedicated council (made up of both CFA and NICF members) we continue to see more delegates on courses, more bespoke training days taking place and three full rolling apprenticeship cohorts.

Such is the demand that I have weekly conversations with a range of employers and self-employed fitters sourcing information around formal training and qualifications too, eager to invest in staff or themselves personally.

This is the reason that CFA has annually produced a Contract Flooring Training Guide for more than 10 years with the latest version for 2024 released last month inside the March edition of CFJ.

These conversations usually begin when the employer has a free minute between busy periods and has time to look at things in more depth. This is the way of the world, and we are all guilty of this I’m sure myself included, but the battle of completing work that pays the bills vs development of skills with formal training can leave large gaps in skills and knowledge that soon fall down the list of importance once the order book starts to fill up again.

I think the industry as a whole sees clear value in ongoing training of current fitters, as well as providing training for new talent entering the industry, but as we are all aware the time to complete this is scarce and not always linear. In practice the idea is simple, identify what talent you have and their capacity in set flooring types, and cross-reference this against planned and future market activity. This exercise helps to identify both the current need for training, as well as the potential future needs of the business and sets a definitive schedule. If this identifies that an increase in fitters may be required, or additional skills needed, it can be factored in.

A training plan/programme, along with a schedule showing clear dates and times, is fundamental to future proofing skills and labour as well as successful upskilling. A training matrix showing an overarching view of what staff training has taken place shows you what skills and labour you have as well as any gaps, which fitters can be developed and where potential recruitment may be required (both employed and sub-contracted).

It is also imperative that these plans are also shared with the staff themselves, giving them a clear insight into their own development and clarity on why training may happen at certain points.

This kind of planning outline plainly to all required to know within the business when new recruitment of skills and labour needs to be planned to ensure it is in place at the correct time. It helps in identifying times and types of training required for current fitters and scope for expansion, so when decisions like employing apprentices are required, it is a proactive choice, which ensures that they peak in their learning at the exact time you need their skills the most, not a reactive one.

Just one of the many FREE document templates CFA provides to its members is a training plan template, developed and ready for members to download and personalise to fit their business. Templates and guidance are just some of the types of advice and support CFA contractor members have access to through their membership. The Contract Flooring Industry Training Guide also has a wealth of information regarding training opportunities, recruitment tools, funding and industry assistance. The Training Guide is available for individual section download too through the members area of our website alongside unlimited support and advice from me as training manager for members.

Not a CFA member? Why not consider joining, not only for the training benefits I have mentioned here, but the wider range of benefits we offer including additional business support helplines, industry updates, directory listings, lobbying, use of the CFA logo and more.
0115 9506836
Shaun Wadsworth is CFA and FITA training manager

Please click to view more articles about

Stay Connected




Popular articles