The Australian Flooring Industry Alliance (AFIA) continues its campaign to strengthen the standards and infrastructure that will attract and retain quality installers to the industry. The body, comprising representatives from five industry sectors, has secured a ‘seed funding’ grant from the Victorian Department of Education’s Workforce Training Innovation Fund (WTIF) to investigate the feasibility of a new pre-apprenticeship program that will sustain a pipeline of qualified installers within the industry.
Working in collaboration with Holmesglen Institute, the Alliance members developed a plan for a pilot that would enable students to transition from a specially designed 16-week pre-industry program to a 12-month Cadetship under training contract as a precursor to a Certificate 111 Apprenticeship.

Spokesperson of the AFIA, Randy Flierman said the pilot formalises work that is ongoing on a number of fronts to find new, innovative pathways for young people to enter and stay in the profession.

“The pathway engages employers in a number of key roles including design and administration of capstone tests to lift employer confidence in training outcomes. The program includes a number of components previously not experienced by employers or our training provider, Holmesglen. This offers both parties an opportunity to trial and evaluate new approaches,” Mr. Flierman said.

“Due to the combined efforts of AFIA members, working closely with Franklin O’Carroll, of Holmesglen Institute and with great support from our vocational training consultant, Margo Couldrey from Lista Consulting, the feasibility study was successfully completed and the Alliance now has an opportunity to apply for a larger WTIF grant to carry out a pilot training program at Holmesglen Institute.

“Trade training is an industry wide priority and the Alliance members are keen to work with all industry stakeholders to increase the numbers of installers in training,” Mr. Flierman said.

In other industry news, the Australian Resilient Flooring Association (ARFA) has successfully revived the Resilient Flooring Standards Committee PL015 to review and update standards relating to resilient flooring installations in Australia and New Zealand. A Project Manager has been appointed and a committee is currently being formed to undertake the review. ARFA is seeking the widest possible input into this important standard to ensure it reflects the interests of all stakeholders.