On Tuesday 31 October, the Flooring NAG got together in Auckland for their second meeting in 2023.

The NAG meeting covered a lot of matters relating to the current state of apprenticeship training for the Flooring Industry. Thank you to Richard Stephens, Peter Holmes, Steve Ferris, and Yogesh Natali for taking the time out of their busy schedules to attend the NAG meeting and contributing valuable insights and advise to BCITO as part of our continuous improvement process. Their direct and honest evaluations support BCITO in improving delivery, service, and resources.

Here are some of the topics discussed:

  • Shift to more multi-unit, multi-level homes and Kainga Ora builds continue to raise concerns for its effect on the flooring workforce and skill requirements. The units are generally smaller and vertically built so raise more health and safety concern. Overseas imports of carpet tiles are an example of changing methods in the flooring industry.
  • The Building Performance Information Requirement (BPIR) and E3 have highlighted the need for more upskilling to ensure everyone in the flooring system has an awareness of the regulations and the best practices required.
  • Businesses will have an increased focus on hiring specific skill sets. This may put more pressure on the flooring workforce to ensure they are properly trained and qualified.
  • Jeff Henry, CEO of FloorNZ, will be helping to upskill BCITO Training Advisors on the Best Practice Guides via a series of zoom workshops.
  • The numbers of apprentices in training continues to drop due to several factors such as business confidence and the removal of the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) to cover training fees. BCITO has found that 50% of apprentices who have withdrawn from working towards their qualification are still working in their company. The NAG provided a range of alternate payment structure options to address the affordability barrier for learners.
  • There has been an historical low number of apprentices over the last five to seven years. It amplifies that there are not enough trainees and there may be a skilled workforce shortage in the long term. The NAG made several suggestions for BCITO to focus on to build numbers and encourage flooring business owners to consider taking on an apprentice.

As poor mental health and suicide rates are a rising concern in the construction sector. BCITO is facilitating apprentices towards Vitae, a free mental health service where the identity of the apprentice remains anonymous to all other than the health practitioner assigned to the apprentice. For more information, please go to the BCITO website, vitae.co.nz, or contact your Training Advisor