TTA offers great services and value for money to its members

TTA offers great services and value for money to its members

November 2021

95% of TTA tile fixer members agree that their membership offers good value for money.  We know that, because we recently asked them as part of a wide-ranging survey of our fixer and retailer members.  
If you are amongst those who took part, we would very much like to thank you for doing so.

In addition to believing TTA membership offers good value for money, 85% of tile fixer members believe TTA represents the tiling industry well. Additionally, many members say they have obtained work through their membership.

With regard to retailer members, 83% say that their membership is good value for money, while they are unanimously of the opinion that TTA represents the tiling industry well.

The benefit that came out top in the survey was simply having the right to use the TTA logo – in such ways as general marketing, on vehicles, and on letterhead.

The logo conveys authority and respect in the industry, as TTA members have discovered, which is why it is the most valued benefit. Tile fixers can demonstrate this with their Registered Tile Fixer Card.

Other top benefits which emerged from the survey are technical advice and support, including a technical helpline available free of charge to members, along with a full range of TTA Technical Publications available for download free of charge to members and access to the TTA Technical Inspection Service at a discounted rate.

The enhanced free listing in the business directory section of the TTA website is also a much-valued benefit, which enables members to benefit from many thousands of visits to the site each month, as the website comes up in first position on Google on a large number of search terms.

Amongst the important business services made available to members are unlimited free access to the members’ helpline for advice on health & safety and employment law, free credit check service, insurance services and the Primary Authority Partnership scheme which enables members to gain exclusive access to regulatory advice from Trading Standards.

When it comes to training, TTA members can get involved in developing qualifications and apprenticeships and also gain access to funding for NVQ and NVQ assessor qualifications.

Finally, all members benefit from TTA’s work to represent and support the industry at Government level, working in partnership with organisations such as Build UK, the Construction Products Association and the Construction Leadership Council.

TTA provides information for members on the new UKCA mark
The issue of changes to the product marking regulations as a result of Britain leaving the EU are continuing to cause much concern throughout many sectors of industry.

What do we have to do?

When do we have to do it?

Does the new UKCA have to be fitted to individual products?

What about selling into Northern Ireland?

These are typical of some of the queries that TTA has been hearing from its members.  The good news is that the changes have now been delayed until 1st January 2023. [www.gov.uk/government/news/businesses-given-more-time-to-apply-new-product-safety-marking]

This means that the current CE mark can continue to be used until that point and any product placed on the market up to the end of next year does not need to carry the UKCA mark.

Further detail on all aspects of the upcoming changes to product marking can be found in the Members Area of the TTA website; another great reason to be a TTA member!

TTA Awards 2022 signs up first Gold Sponsor!
As this issue of TSJ went to press, Mapei has signed up as the first Gold sponsor of the TTA Awards 2022. Many thanks to them for their continued support!

The Awards will be held on 24th June and entries will open soon. So now is the time to consider whether you ought to enter this year. Don’t forget that there are 16 Award categories you can enter. Also, if you are interested in gaining the exceptional market exposure which being a sponsor of the Awards can offer you, please do not hesitate to contact TTA now.

More information on the Awards can be found on the dedicated website at www.ttaawards.com

TTA supports skills retention in our sector
Concern has been growing in recent months about a growing skills and labour shortage across the construction industry. Brexit, recovery from the pandemic and a generally ageing work-force have combined to cause well-publicised issues in certain sectors, and the ripples have been felt throughout construction.

However, during the past year, a number of platforms have been developed to provide support for the construction industry, to recruit and retain skills which are essential for the future by linking jobseekers, employers and trainees.

Go Construct (www.goconstruct.org) is the place to start if you’re wondering if the construction industry is for you, providing information about a wide range of career options in construction.

 Talent View Construction is the newest initiative, billed as the place where talented people go to find their first jobs, apprenticeships or work experience in construction and the built environment. It is backed jointly by the Government and the CITB. Contractors can post their vacancies for free on the programme website, which is entirely free to use.

Talent View Construction is integrated within the Construction Talent Retention Scheme which helps match individuals already in the industry to the most suitable jobs, helping the industry retain its existing talent. The Construction Talent Retention Scheme (CTRS) is a not-for-profit programme, funded by Government, and backed by business organisations, professional institutions and construction unions. It features an online portal which allows skilled individuals to showcase their experience and expertise and helps businesses across the industry find the skills they need.

TTA supports SkillBuild 2021 National Finals
TTA has once again supported the SkillBuild National Finals, which will have taken place by the time you read this. Delivered by CITB, SkillBuild is the largest multi-trade skills competition in the UK for construction trainees and apprentices.

David Rowley, Chairman of the TTA’s Training Committee, was in attendance as a judge, and TTA sponsored a trophy for the ‘stretch’ test. TTA was also a category sponsor and presented a cheque for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.

Other companies supporting the competition were N&C, Schlüter-Systems and BAL, who provided generous donations of materials.

The National Finals were held at the National Construction College (East) site in Bircham Newton, Norfolk, with the competition taking place over the course of three days.

There were seven finalists in the Wall & Floor Tiling Category:
Christopher Parry, City of Glasgow College
Tony Kane, Southern Regional College
Aaron Gillespie, Southern Regional College
Morgan Nutt, North West Regional College
Laura Jones, Cardiff & Vale College
Aaron Brady, Leeds College of Building
Conor Nugent, Southern Regional College


Funding still available through TTA for OSAT and EWPAR assessments
TTA is encouraging fixers to sign up for OSAT or EWPAR assessments, for which there is still CITB funding available. However this funding is expected to be used up soon, so any interest-ed fixers should not delay in applying!

This is an opportunity – open equally to TTA members and non-members – which should not to be missed, as an NVQ Level 2 is now required in order to get a CSCS card.

The CITB funding received means that TTA is able to offer these assessments at a much reduced rate, and furthermore TTA members are eligible for a further substantial discount on the cost. In fact, given the discount available, it makes sense for fixers to join TTA at this time and enjoy all the other membership benefits, in addition to their OSAT or EWPAR assessments.

Training by either route leads to an NVQ Level 2, which is required by all fixers in order to get a CSCS card. Although this is not required by law, most principal contractors and housebuilders require construction workers on their sites to have a valid card. Contractors are also be-coming more rigorous in checking that workers on their sites hold the correct card.

Previous routes to getting a CSCS card, not based on a formal qualification - such as Industry Accreditation - are no longer allowed by CSCS. New applicants and those renewing their cards now have to have an NVQ Level 2 in order to obtain a CSCS card.

EWPAR (Experienced Worker Practical Assessment) is a one-day assessment aimed at experienced tilers, who for whatever reason do not have an NVQ Level 2. These assessments are carried out at an approved training centre.

An OSAT (On-Site Assessment & Training) is more suitable for those fixers who are new into the industry, have less experience and who require an element of training, as well as assessment. These are carried out on site at the trainee’s place of work and generally last two to three days.

The EWPAR assessment costs £500+VAT for TTA members - £600+VAT for non-members plus a £71 registration fee. TTA members pay £650+ VAT for the OSAT, while non-members pay £750+VAT, in addition to the registration fee. OSAT assessments will also incur travel expenses, which should be paid direct to the assessor.

“This funding is time limited, so it is important that those interested contact us as soon as pos-sible,” says David Rowley, Chairman of TTA Training Committee.  “It is also another great rea-son why tile fixers should be members of TTA, since they benefit from a £100 discount on the cost of the assessments and the registration fee is waived.”

Independent fixers and companies who wish to put their fixers through the assessments are encouraged to contact TTA for more information on 0300 365 8453 or by emailing training@tile.org.uk.

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