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Want to know everything about training in the industry? You’ve arrived at the right place!

Shaun explains why the contract flooring industry’s Training Guide 2024 is the only dedicated place for comprehensive training guidance for the flooring sector.

I’M pleased to inform CFJ readers that included in this month’s copy of CFJ is the CFA 2024 contract flooring industry’s Training Guide. The guide is the definitive resource for the latest information on sector training opportunities in the UK, including apprenticeships, qualifications, training courses, funding and recruitment signposting.

It’s important employers have access to this kind of information to make calculated and informed decisions on a wide range of topics, training being one of them.

The guide is also available digitally as a download through the CFA website www.cfa.org.uk or read it online at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.

The CFA provides advice on training as one of the many membership benefits available and is fairly unique in co-founding its own training organisation, the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA), to deliver formal training to the industry.

The training and upskilling of current and future floorlayers is still very much the leading conversation I seem to have with everyone I speak to and this guide is designed to offer an answer to any questions asked about formal training.

There’s clearly still a huge gap in current skills and labour market and the CFA estimates through information provided by its members that the gap has risen from 11% in 2019 to 20% in 2023.

Alongside Future Fitters, with its core objective of identifying and increasing the number of floor-fitters (of all ages) entering the UK floorlaying industry, in other notable training work (where the CFA continues to lead the way) the update of the two most important training routes in the floorlaying sector is probably stand out.

These are also covered in the guide and are as follows:
We worked with government to revise the Floorlayer Apprenticeship Standard in England in order to enable it to sit alongside other construction Standards, and also to futureproof it.
Additional principles and characteristics such as Digital Construction, Net Zero Carbon, Building Safety, Mental Health and more have been added to the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) taught at apprenticeship level.

This revision involved looking at all areas for review with a focus on the area we all believed was vital – increasing funding. I’m happy to say funding has increased for the Floorlayer Apprenticeship Standard in England, and I believe is down to the tireless efforts of the working group set up to pave the way for better cohesion between what employers need, and what is delivered and assessed during the apprenticeship.

The CFA was also approached to work in conjunction with CITB to review the current Floorcovering National Occupational Standards (NOS) which directly make up both S/NVQ’s in floorlaying and the apprenticeship programmes in Scotland and Wales. This outlined that the NOS was outdated in relation to the activities and demands of a current flooring installer and a group of industry professionals went to work in rectifying this.

At the time of going to print this work is still to be formally completed but what we do know is that the current floorlaying NVQ Level 2 in Engand will change to a Level 3 qualification. The chances this will create are excellent for our industry, it raises the profile of the qualification to other construction trades, where it rightfully belongs, but also presents new opportunities to engage with training organisations that were currently unavailable to our sector such as ELCAS who offer training support for those leaving MOD service.

We also envisage openings to work better with DWP and prisoner reform agencies in the same vein, which allows our sector to tap into areas of new skills and labour supply that were previously not accessible as level 3 was a minimum requirement for them to engage.
The Training Guide is a great source of a wider range of training related information:

Want to know more about apprenticeships?
Look no further, the guide contains all information around apprenticeship training and recruitment for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in their own dedicated sections for ease of reading with links to provider information too.

Looking for additional training? There’s a huge list of manufacturers’ training opportunities in the guide, with specialist training courses and contact information. There’s also the comprehensive list of short courses offered by FITA, the training arm of the CFA for the commercial and domestic sector.

Need some help funding training? There are various sources of grants, funding and free training available to support employers through manufacturers, government funding and organisations such as CITB.

All contact details of the key businesses and organisations are provided including advice and guidance on funding and grants for help in business improvements and bespoke training opportunities.

Need a formal qualification? The guide boasts an extensive list of all training providers and contact details of those that offer the right qualifications within the flooring industry for your needs. This also saves you time in scouting around for the information.

Need a carded workforce? We have all the information you need with detailed explanation on the application process for a CSCS card including what type of card you can apply for, based on the qualification(s) you hold.

Struggling with recruitment? For those of you who are looking at recruiting future employees it includes information skills and labour recruitment including dedicated help such as Talentview Construction and The Talent Retention Scheme.

Want to organise some health and safety training? To actively support floorlaying companies in complying with the Build UK Training Standard, we have listed CITB training courses which will meet managers’ and supervisors’ needs and may attract attendance grants if you are in-scope to CITB.

Plus, lots more!

Hopefully this gives everyone an overview of the content in this year’s Training Guide and provides plenty of information about potential areas of interest.

Got a question regarding something in the Guide? Do you want to be included in the Guide next year? Or just have a training enquiry in general? Feel free to get in touch I would be happy to support.
0115 9506836
Shaun Wadsworth is CFA and FITA training manager

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