Jack Carmichael are dedicated to training and employing qualified Floor Layers. Director, Neil Carmichael was formerly Chairman of the Contract Flooring Association (Scotland) and worked directly with trade associations and qualifying bodies to change and improve flooring qualifications standards throughout the UK. In September 2014 Neil stood down from all industry positions due other commitments.
Training in Scotland (05/08/2013)
Around ten years ago it became apparent that a major skills shortage was forming in our area for skilled Floor Layers. Jack Carmichael Flooring decided that something must be done and began a programme of employing and properly training apprentices to recognised qualifications within the industry.
This had not happened in Moray for some time. We commenced our training programme, however found that the training available was not really fit for purpose locally, and that the only ‘true’ flooring college training in Scotland was at Glasgow Metropolitan College in Glasgow, now Glasgow City College.
We sent apprentices through this course along with on-site training with ourselves and had several successes.
However we were disappointed to find that the same qualification was being given to tradesmen who attended one day courses or, on some occasions didn’t even attend, as our trainees who carried out a full four year apprenticeship.
Creating industry qualifications
Talks took place and it was decided by both organisations that the AFCC should be absorbed within the CFA and a separate Scottish committee formed as part of the association.
Jack Carmichael Managing Director, Neil Carmichael was selected to be the Chairman of the CFA Scottish Committee in 2000, a position he has now held for three years.
In his new position, Neil has made the training of apprentices his main priority and with the support of The CFA has managed to oversee the introduction of a new SVQ Level 3 qualification in Decorative Floor Laying.
This forms part of a four year apprenticeship and cannot be passed without a practical skills test at the end of year four.
This standard applies to the whole of Scotland and is a major milestone in ensuring that a qualified Floor Layer is actually qualified! All Jack Carmichael Flooring Floor Layers are qualified to SVQ Levels 2 or 3; the only company local which can claim this.
Five years ago, this lead to Jack Carmichael Directors taking the lead in discussions with The Scottish Qualification Agency and The CITB regarding the formation of a new qualification at a higher level; one which could only be achieved after proving competence through an official skills test.
Agreement was made that this must happen, however a main stumbling block in developing things further was that the re-write of the qualification had to be created between a trade association, the CIBT, SQA and SBATC.
Scotland had two trade flooring associations at that time, The Contract Flooring Association and The Association of Flooring Contractors Scotland. The CFA whom Jack Carmichael were members of are a large national organisation whereas the AFCC were a smaller organisation without the technical and financial backing that the CFA had.
As part of Neil’s position within the CFA he also sits on several committees representing the flooring industry for SBATC (the apprenticeship registration body for the building industry), and NSCC (National Specialist Contractors Council).
In addition to this he also sits on the National Working Group for Flooring which is currently re-writing the guidance for Qualifications for England, Scotland And Wales.
This work by Neil is carried out without charge to the organisations involved, however we are happy to invest. Jack Carmichael see the bigger picture and believe that by investing the time to develop quality staff and improved training conditions, the benefits to ourselves and our clients will follow.