Tiling National Advisory Group (NAG) meeting highlights

On Friday 18 November 2022, the Tiling NAG convened its second 2022 meeting. Due to the relaxing of COVID restrictions, the Advisory Group was able to meet in person at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel. Despite how busy the entire industry is, we had a great turnout and robust discussion about several topics relating to the Tiling sector.

As well as the Advisory Group meeting, BCITO also hosted an Industry Summit where we had several speakers talk about the future of the sector, productivity, change and building strong team cultures.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all NAG members for giving up their time to contribute to such a productive meeting. Some of the key discussions were:

  • We have seen exponential growth in apprentice numbers across the construction sector and Tiling is not exempt to this. Although there was an acknowledgement that numbers have slowed a touch over the last 3 months
  • We are continuing to see a labour shortage in the industry, this is an ongoing issue across the entire construction sector that industry is working hard to address. A focus of the Skills Summit was on building team culture which has a big effect on staff retention.
  • There was a Unit Standard Review that took place during 2022 and as a result, we have seen one major change. Unit standard 31347 Prepare to Fix Tiles is set to expire and will be replaced with two new unit standards. These two units are prepare substrate for floor and wall tiling and apply undertile water proofing systems. Both units are Level 4 and have 20 credits in value.
  • There was disappointment that the Targeted Training Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) was not continuing beyond this year. This ‘free fees’ model for apprentices has been a tremendous success over the course of the last 18 months with sign-up numbers reflecting this.
  • The expressed NAG opinion is that as BCITO move into Te Pūkenga, we must retain industry’s voice. BCITO wholeheartedly supports this position.
  • An Apprentice Leader Group has been set up by BCITO that is made up of one apprentice from each sector. This is an opportunity for BCITO to hear the learner voice and is the first of its kind. The Tiling representative sat in on the Advisory Group meeting sharing terrific insights on the learners’ journey from an apprentice’s point of view. The Apprentice Leader Group will now go through workshops and an Outward-Bound Course to acknowledge and grow their leadership skills.
  • Tiling is recognised as having a very diverse workforce and this is shown in the apprentice breakdown of ethnicities we see. Industry acknowledged this needs to continue moving forward with the changing nature of the population.
  • Discussion was had about putting more effort into understanding the career pathway in construction and making sure our apprentices are aware of the options following their qualification. Tiling Industry would like to see more apprentices progress into Supervisor qualifications after gaining their New Zealand Certificate.
  • There is a need for more representation on the Tiling National Advisory Group, BCITO will be actively looking for new representatives to join the group.