One of the main ways we do this is through our National Advisory Group or NAG for short. This group features connected people from your industry that serve as your voice within BCITO. Members give up their time to advise BCITO how we can best support the development of a well-trained and robust flooring industry. Topics for discussion at each meeting vary depending on what is topical in the sector/BCITO at the time of the meeting. They may include BCITO qualifications, marketing, industry engagement, digital projects, workforce development planning, to name a few.
In November the Flooring NAG met in Wellington with the BCITO. Our previous meeting held in March was restricted to online video calls, as this was during the country’s first nationwide Level 4 lockdown. It was great to get the group back together around a physical table.
We share below some of the key talking points from our meeting.
COVID-19’s impact on the industry
It’s no surprise that COVID-19 was a key talking point during the March Flooring NAG meeting. There was a lot of uncertainty and concern regarding the economic impact of COVID-19 would have on the sector. Flooring businesses were feeling the pressure of lockdown, due to having to maintain their businesses without the ability to receive any income. The wage subsidy was helping in this regard, but this was still a difficult time for firms as they battled to stay afloat and keep their staff employed. NAG members shared their concern that the industry may lose sight of the importance of training if the economy took a hit.
NAG members reported that the industry is currently busy throughout the regions. Many retail stores have had recording-breaking sales months’ post lockdown. There continues to be a strong workload through into 2021, which is resulting in a more optimistic outlook for the sector.
Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE)
The Reform of Vocational Education is a government lead change aims to create a strong, unified, sustainable vocational education system that is fit for the future of work and delivers the skills that learners, employers and communities need to thrive. NAG members were given an update on the current state of RoVE. Learn more
Apprenticeship Boost and TTAF/No Fees Schemes
Members spoke of the significant uncertainty in the sector last time we met during the March lockdown. However, we were all aware of the impacts on training a recession would bring. During the GFC while the construction workforce shrank by 8%, apprenticeships fell by 32%. BCITO sought Government support to avoid this same outcome happening. Their response was the launch of the Apprentice Boost and TTAF/No Fees schemes. The impact of these has been immediate and significant for the flooring industry.
- Two hundred and nineteen total flooring apprenticeship sign-ups between July and the end of October.
- There has also been 58 flooring business that are new to training sign-up apprentices with BCITO.
The NAG was advised that the review of the flooring qualifications has concluded with a new suite of qualifications being approved by NZQA. We are currently working on the review of programmes, standards and supporting materials with a view to having the qualification open to enrolments in 2021. The National Certificate Qualification will be replaced by the:
- New Zealand Certificate in Carpet and Resilient Flooring Installation (Level 4) with strands in Conventional Carpet, Bonded Carpet, Commercial Resilient, and Residential Resilient.
- New Zealand Certificate in Timber and Composite Flooring (Level 4) with strands in Bonded Installation, and Fine Sand and Finishes.
- New Zealand Certificate in Floor Planning and Design (Level 4) with optional strands in Site Assessment, and Flooring Estimation.
The review also resulted in a new qualification recognising the skills associated with Surface Preparation (as opposed to Substrate Preparation):
- New Zealand Certificate in Flooring Surface Preparation (Level 4) with strands in Moisture Treatment Systems, Underlayment Systems, Mechanical Preparation, Concrete Polishing (and an optional strand in Topical Coatings).
NAG members were shown BCITO's new employer marketing campaign: Built By You. Key messages from the campaign are:
As part of one of the largest sectors in New Zealand, your business is involved in building exactly what this country needs - strong, thriving communities. Through training, you are helping people reach their goals, become skilled workers and realise their dreams. Mentoring and inspiring future leaders will contribute to New Zealand’s economic recovery. Be proud to say our country is BUILT BY YOU!
myBCITO for Apprentices
NAG members were given a demo and update on myBCITO – our new digital platform for apprentices. This gives apprentices online access to their learning materials and links to third-party content. BCITO has also developed a range of self-assessment content designed to provide instant feedback to learners about their knowledge around key topics. myBCITO for flooring apprentices is being worked on currently. Watch this space for more information.
If you would like to know more about BCITO’s National Advisory Groups you can contact me by email or call me on 0274799809, or [email protected]
The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) has set a record of 16,000 apprentices in training.
Have you heard? – the NAWIC Excellence awards 2021 are happening and open for nominations!