Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI) recently announced a partnership with South-Africa-based African Flooring Industry Training Association (FiTA) to bring ongoing floor covering installation training classes and certification to professionals. Nearly 10 years ago, CFI began working with Belgotex Floorcoverings, a carpet manufacturer based in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, to help establish a formal training program and institute qualification guidelines for professional installers.
“At the time we entered this market, there were no set standards and no rules governing flooring installation in the country,” said Robert Varden, vice president of CFI. “The lack of qualified installers in the flooring industry is a global issue. In 2013, The South African Flooring Industry Training Association was formed to address the installation crisis facing the flooring industry. Great strides have been made working with both trade and government officials to clearly define necessary schooling and hands on training requirements for installation professionals that will be overseen by the government and will be required to practice the trade.”
CFI and FITA will continue to facilitate installation training and accreditation through apprenticeship programs for entry level flooring installers who undergo comprehensive hands-on and classroom training. Also, “Prior Learning” accreditation will be made available for installers who are already working and have experience. To date, over 150 graduates have completed the 12-month training program and apprenticeship and now hold a National Certificate Installation of Floor Coverings, issued by the Construction Education Training Authority in South Africa.
Through an additional regional partner, Belgotex Floorcoverings, CFI and FiTA have entered an arrangement with local youth endowment organizations to bring installation training to school children in grades 6-10. Upon completion, these students will have a floor laying skill which will enable them to find a job as an entry level flooring installer upon graduation.
“Our partnership with the South African Flooring Industry Training Association is yet another step forward in achieving our goals of continuing to lead the way in installation training, increasing our global footprint and helping our industry both domestically and internationally keep pace with the ever changing business landscape,” said Varden.
For more information, visit www.cfiinstalers.org.