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SW Flooring Training Partnership

Altro support the SW Flooring Training SchoolSW Flooring has taken matters into its own hands when it comes to finding the floor layers of the future. Director Simon Wallace talks about their innovative training partnership with local schools in Ramsgate.

Simon Wallace isn't one to rest on his laurels. Whilst others may be finding trading conditions tough, SW Flooring has moved to new, bigger premises and is putting plans into action to recruit the floor fitters of the future. "Having more space gave us the perfect opportunity to run our own training school," explains Simon. "We're working with local schools to give young people a taste of what being a floor layer means, as well as making sure that the skills and experience of our older fitters do not go to waste."

Simon and his team go to local secondary schools to tell Year 11 pupils (aged 15 and 16) what's on offer. They don't sugar coat the message – there's hard work involved and a professional attitude is expected – but in return there's the opportunity to attend the SW Flooring training school one day a week for four weeks.

"The tough talk usually whittles down the numbers a little but it means we get people who are serious about being there," says Simon. "We make a shortlist through the year of all those who've impressed us and at least one will get a job at the end of it."

As well as inspiring young people to think about their futures, the training scheme is a way of making the most of the experience within Simon's team. "If our older guys are tired of being out and about on site, they can spend time in our training school and pass on their skills and experience to the next generation. I want this to be the kind of company I would choose to work for."

Simon and his colleague are undertaking NVQ Assessor training to allow SW to offer NVQ qualifications through the training school. SW Flooring also has plans to open a new branch, complete with training school, closer to London later this year.