In late 2018 a Victorian Government grant to carry out a two-year installer training project was fronted by the Australian Flooring Industry Alliance and Holmesglen Institute of TAFE (Chadstone campus).
The grant was made under the Victorian Government’s Workforce Training Innovation Fund (WTIF) initiative, which encourages new and different approaches to vocational training.
Our project aims to:
- raise awareness of the flooring installation trades as a good career choice for potential learners
- increase the number of flooring technology apprentices in training; and
- trial a new different approach to flooring technology training that can be replicated by TAFE Flooring Technology Departments throughout Australia
How the program operates?
Nathan Quinn, our project manager, has been busy promoting the project to careers teachers, students, mature aged people looking to start a new career and companies that are looking to employ flooring technology apprentices in the carpet; timber or resilient flooring streams.
Prospective learners are briefed by Nathan and then invited to attend day long ‘taster sessions’ at Holmesglen. Company representatives from the main sectors of the flooring industry address the students for about 20 minutes, followed by a Question and Answer session.
At the end of each segment, TAFE and/ or industry trainers give a practical demonstration (e.g. remove existing carpet and install new carpet using the stretch-in method, installing solid timber and engineered flooring, sanding timber floors, and installing vinyl flooringincluding seam welding).
Students then do group work under supervision. Alternatively, individuals can enter directly into a trial with companies focusing on a specific stream with demand in focused on demographic demand.
The ‘taster sessions’ have been have been very effective in helping potential learners to better understand the nature of flooring installation work, the career opportunities available to them and what is required to satisfy employer expectations.
We currently have 92 candidates seeking placement across various suburbs of Melbourne. Candidates will be matched with companies that are willing to employ one or more apprentices under training contracts, paying award wages and receiving the normal Government apprentice training incentives.
The first group of flooring technology apprentices start their training at Holmesglen on 11th November 2019. A second and final group will commence in February 2020.
Delivered over 40 weeks, the program will give students an opportunity to complete all the units of competency required for the Certificate II in Flooring Technology traineeship qualification.
Our program ends at the 40 week mark. Students will be encouraged to complete the Certificate III in flooring technology apprenticeship qualification, potentially saving 6 – 9 months on the time required to complete the normal 4-year apprenticeship.
Our approach relies on marketing strong industry participation, which includes the use of highly experienced trade qualified ‘industry advisors’ in teaching and mentoring roles to support students and their employers.
If you would like to learn more about the project, know a person who is interested in becoming a Flooring Technician or a company that is looking to employ an apprentice, please contact Nathan on mobile 0497 008 196 or email firstname.lastname@example.org