New CITB funding package will assist fixers with their future training needs

New CITB funding package will assist fixers with their future training needs

The Tile Association has secured CITB part-funding to train eight new NVQ assessors over the next 18 months.

The aim of the funding application has been to provide an assessor infrastructure for the wall and floor tiling sector across the UK which will support quality assured assessment of experienced operatives to NVQ L2.

Part funding will also be available for NVQ EWPAR/OSAT training, which is designed to help fixers obtain their CSCS cards.

Having independent NVQ assessors will help TTA strengthen its training activities and make it easier for companies and independent fixers to access the training support they need.

It is also the intention to promote and support a skilled and qualified workforce, which will stimulate the market and uptake by providing a route to qualification for experienced operatives via on-site assessment.

The capacity to register learners to this programme will be greatly improved by the addition of eight new assessors. TTA will research and identify suitable candidates from within the sector to take on the role of assessor, and will give full support to the assessors both during the training process and throughout the EWPAR/OSAT of experienced operatives.

This is also an important response from The Tile Association to the withdrawal of the Construction Related Occupation (CRO) card in March, which has affected 230,000 cardholders. This card did not require the holder to obtain a nationally recognised construction-related qualification and therefore did not meet the expectations of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC).

A number of CRO occupations have qualifications that currently do not meet the nationally recognised standard for those skilled occupations.

The TTA initiative will give new entrants to the sector and others an additional route through which to gain the appropriate training.

The Tile Association will now undertake direct marketing to raise awareness, identify learners and link to assessors in addition to marketing to employers outside of membership in order to reach the whole sector.  

TTA has also been working with the CITB to set up a new funding scheme to assist companies with up to 99 employees with their training needs.

This comes within the CITB’s Skills and Training Flexible Fund, which supports small and micro employers, and specialist federations with the delivery of training and upskilling.

Applications for up to £10,000 funding are now open and will remain open until 20 November 2017.  Full information is available on the CITB website.

TTA members can either apply by emailing funding@citb.co.uk or can contact the TTA and we will put you in touch with our dedicated advisor at CITB.


TTA’s Autumn and Winter social events programme
The Fixer’s Lunch is the first upcoming event in this season’s busy social calendar.

This will take place on Friday 13th October at The Jugged Hare, Montcalm Hotel, London EC1Y 4SA.

This is a superb venue, which majors on the highest quality food and is claimed to be the finest gastro pub in the City of London. More information is available on the venue website at: www.thejuggedhare.com

Meet at 5.00pm for drinks and 6.30pm for dinner. This is a very popular opportunity for fixers to network, meet with colleagues and catch up on the latest TTA and industry news. Contact the TTA to book your place for this popular event.

The second event will be the Tileman’s Lunch, which will take place on Friday 8th December.  One again, this will be held at The Grazing Goat in Marylebone.

Those who attended last year will be aware that this proved to be a very popular venue. The Tile Association’s pre-Christmas gathering is always popular, with bookings already being received, so please do book early to secure a place.

The Grazing Goat is in Marylebone, London W1 and the venue’s website is www.thegrazinggoat.co.uk.

New categories for TTA Awards 2018
As the industry begins to look forward to the TTA Awards 2018, The Tile Association would like to thank, once again, the sponsors of the 2017 Awards.

The Gold sponsors were: Ardex, BAL, Bellota, Impey Wetrooms, Norcros Adhesives and Tilemaster Adhesives.

For the coming year further improvements will be made to the sponsorship packages available to enhance the value for money for sponsors and improve the attractiveness of the sponsorship opportunities available.
In addition to the standard packages, it is likely that some bespoke packages, tailored to meet the specific needs of sponsors, will also be available.  

TTA Awards sponsors agree that their involvement with the industry’s annual Awards night is a vital part of their marketing commitments for the year. The changes to be made by the TTA for the coming year will be designed to enhance and improve the effectiveness of all sponsorship support.

There are going to be a number of refinements made to the list of Award categories for the coming year, with the aim of refreshing the Awards and adding extra interest and value for those entering.

The new categories have now been agreed and will once again include a mix of Awards which are judged by public vote, alongside those which will be judged by a panel of experts in the particular field in which the nomination is being submitted. The new categories are as follows:

• Outstanding Contribution/Lifetime Achievement (Awarded by TTA Board)
• Excellence in Marketing
• Best Innovation
• Best E-commerce Website - Public vote
• Best Domestic Project - Public vote
• Wall Tile of the Year - Public vote
• Floor Tile of the Year - Public vote
• Best Environmental Initiative
• Excellence in Supply
• Excellence in Retail
• Employee of the Year
• Excellence in Tile Contracting
• Trainee Tile Fixer of the Year
• Tile Fixer of the Year - Public vote
• Excellence in Customer Service
• Best Small Commercial Project
• Best Large Commercial Project
• Best Heritage Project - Public vote

Entries to the TTA Awards will open in the autumn and close in January, but it is never too early to start thinking about your top projects, products and achievements which you would like to put forward for recognition in 2018.

Uncoupling membranes
Elsewhere this month’s TSJ is looking at the subject of underfloor heating systems. This is a subject which the TTA is very aware of, particularly how uncoupling membranes can be used to overcome some of the issues associated with underfloor heating.

Over recent years there has been an increase in the use of uncoupling membranes for the installation of ceramic and natural stone floor tiles. However there are no product performance standards available at British, European or international level, meaning that performance between systems will differ.

To assist specifiers, The Tile Association’s latest technical document ‘Installation and Use of Uncoupling Membranes for Internal Floor Tiling’ covers this area.

It includes the history of uncoupling membranes, their definition and function, movement joints, adhesives and grouts and other areas.