Flooring Sector National Advisory Group (NAG) meeting highlights

On Thursday 17 November, the Flooring NAG met face to face for the first time since Covid-19 hit our shores. It was great to have everyone in the same room after meeting via zoom for the last two years.

The Flooring NAG comprises employers with a strong background in industry training and supply chain representatives. The purpose of NAGs is to create a two-way information sharing pathway enabling BCITO to respond to educational needs of industry and allowing NAG members to inform their industry networks of the work and initiatives BCITO covers. These valuable members provide BCITO with advice on strategic issues around sector requirements and keeping training requirements up-to-date and relevant among other responsibilities.

The NAG meeting covered a lot of topics relating to the current state of industry training and the future of BCITO within Te Pūkenga. Other discussion points included:

  • The NAG welcomed their Apprentice Leader to the group, Bronson Harfield from Beejays Limited in Auckland. BCITO selected Bronson as the Apprentice Leader for the Flooring sector. The NAG looks forward to having the voice of the apprentice in the group to better understand their needs.
  • There are concerns that the BCITO transition into Te Pūkenga in 2023 will dilute the voice of the flooring sector.
  • The need for greater involvement in schools and Gateway programs to attract more career seekers to the trade.
  • The labour shortage has forced some employers to look to immigrants to fill the gaps. There are struggles to find trainers to train apprentices as well as apprentices themselves.
  • The number of flooring apprentices has declined slightly from the beginning of 2022. The NAG is interested to see whether the number of trainees will drop further next year once the Targeted Training and Apprentice Fund (TTAF) subsidy expires in December 2022.
  • The potential transfer of arranging of training from BCITO to Allied Trades Institute (ATI). BCITO/ATI will be holding industry consultation meetings in December across the country as well as a virtual option to inform industry of potential changes to arranging of training for the flooring apprentices.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all NAG members for giving up their time to contribute to such a productive meeting.