One giant leap for FITA…

FITA has taken a huge step forward as apprenticeship delivery has begun at the training centre in Loughborough, says Shaun.

IT’s fantastic to announce FITA is finally able to state that apprenticeship delivery is taking place at the training centre in conjunction with Webs Training.

When I began working for the Contract Flooring Association back in 2018, I was taken aback by the level of investment the whole industry offers to support the need for training and transferring of knowledge within the flooring industry. It was clear to see that trade associations, training providers, manufacturers, employers, distributors and floorlayers would all more than happily support training in a multitude of ways.

This was made crystal clear to me when I began managing the delivery of training at the FITA training centre in Loughborough which is the training arm of not one, but two trade associations dedicated to floorlaying in the UK.

While there have been great strides taken at the training centre over the past three years (built on the shoulders of those who’ve been involved long before my time I may add) in terms of course delivery, digital content and the whole training experience it always seemed there was something missing.

Apprenticeship delivery itself is a complicated and rigid structure of policies, procedures and funding rules all designed to ensure the apprentice has the best possible opportunity to navigate their way through training to come out the other side of their training as a competent worker. These rules also ensure training providers correctly deliver the content and training required for the apprentice in return for government funding direct to the training provider.

So, with the support of Webs Training, a leading training provider based in Nottingham, FITA’s training and delivery options at the centre now include apprenticeship delivery in the East Midlands for prospective employers. FITA will work with Webs to ensure this delivery sits alongside the best in the country, and we couldn’t think of a better main provider to be working with.

With two cohorts of apprentices already established we began the first set of training in early May, working on developing new skills knowledge and behaviours with the support of their employers. The apprentices will spend blocks of time at FITA over the course of the next three years alongside working with their employer to build the necessary attributes a floorlayer would need to complete their apprenticeship.

The apprentices have access to materials, tools and resources courtesy of our fantastic sponsors, and these enable them to learn and develop their talents in an environment where they can concentrate and hone their skills before going back to their employer to build on those skills further in real site environments.

It’s been great to speak to the apprentices over the past two weeks who have all settled in superbly. They are eager to learn, understand the opportunity they have and want to make progress. The employers have also been fantastic. These new relationships have not been easy to establish in the midst of a pandemic and it has knocked back our timeline considerably. But all through this initial journey the employers have ensured that they give the apprentices the best possible start to their careers.

Delivering these apprenticeships would not be possible without the support from industry manufacturers, providing access to a wide range of tools, materials, and equipment to help in the delivery of training.

Nothing is too much trouble, and all sponsors and supporters are happy to help ensure the apprentices have access to all that they would need to learn what is required for their job roles.

This is the first step in a new route for FITA and something we’re keen to grow, so if you’d like more information about employing, supporting or becoming an apprentice in the floorlaying sector then please get in touch.
shaun@fita.co.uk
07554 015215