Shaun Wadsworth points out that post-lockdown training is continuing to thrive as FITA goes from strength-to-strength.
AS training manager for the CFA and FITA it’s always great to be able to highlight the positive outcomes within the industry when it comes to training. That’s true whether it’s highlighting the fact that key funding for apprenticeships is being maintained, or the fact new skills and labour are being signposted or celebrating and rewarding great new talent within flooring at events such as Flooring Apprentice of the Year.
At the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA), one of the great successes since the last national lockdown back in May 2021 has been the opportunity to support the overwhelming requirement for fitter training in the commercial and domestic sectors.
When we opened up our doors following a closure of four months, we knew there’d still be a requirement for training, but the response to FITA courses over the past 10 months has been staggering, seeing more people through the doors of FITA Loughborough than in any previous year, something which makes us proud and grateful.
FITA has seen a huge influx in training course attendance, with more than 50% more delegates walking through the door than the average attendance in previous years and that’s just our standard ‘off-the-shelf’ courses. We’ve also seen a huge increase in commercial clients working with us to create bespoke training courses, demonstration events, and skills assessment programmes for clients, fitters, and staff. When you add in three full apprenticeship cohorts, NVQ delivery, and engagement with manufacturers, it means I’m pleased to say there isn’t a single area of training within the flooring sector that FITA are not engaged in.
But the intention here isn’t to pat ourselves on the back, take our foot of the gas, or relax in the knowledge that FITA is busy. On the contrary we want to ensure high quality training remains a vital part of floorlaying and adds a direct contribution to the thousands of quality installs up-and-down the country.
We’ll continue to engage with CFA and NICF members, sponsors, manufacturers, retailers, and the wider industry to continue to provide training, guidance, and support. We’ve continued to add to our training consultant numbers to meet demand and are currently engaging a further four training consultants.
FITA has made great progress in reviewing and redefining its schedule of training to ensure there is room for all of this to take place, increasing capacity for delivery and engagement to cope with demand. FITA Scotland will return in 2022 offering even more scope for delivery for an area of the UK with a rich history of workforce training.
FITA will support the CFA in its bid to tackle the skills and labour crisis, offering additional support to industry in generating localised and sustainable delivery. After all, FITA is an independent, not-for-profit organisation designed by the industry, for the industry.
FITA will continue to do all it can to provide access to high quality training and best practice installation techniques, using the latest products, tools, and equipment in the industry. We believe our method of teaching gives fitters the best opportunity to learn new skills and develop existing ones, improving confidence, and gaining a competitive edge.
Whether you are just starting out or you need additional training to go that one step further, our training courses (aimed at the commercial and domestic markets) are taught by seasoned professionals with specialist knowledge of the flooring industry, ensuring delegates leave our training courses knowing the #FITAWay.
To learn more about the full range of support FITA offers to the industry please feel free to contact us to find out more.