No one can deny the importance of Vocational Training. All members of a professional team need to be able to work well together and on the same page. Because of good training the team will start to think as one, and problems can always be best solved when many minds are at work.
The British Association of Removers have regular training days and specific courses for staff to attend to keep up the skills required to do the job, which as members we are expected to make good use of. Skills like Export Packing, Manual Handling, Vehicle Loading and Customer Focus are all covered within their syllabus.
Because we have a specific set of skills that are not covered by ‘removals’ per se, we mostly train all our Technicians in-house. This is taken as ‘on-the-job’ training where our senior fitters will pass their knowledge and experience on to the upcoming technical staff. This training encompasses all aspects of Furniture Installation and relocation including behaviour and planning. The problem here is with that ever-precious commodity of Time. Under a tight schedule, it is unviable to dedicate time to training an individual member of staff. It is often all hands to the pumps and full steam ahead and each member of the team should work independently and on their own initiative. In most circumstances, there would be a City and Guilds qualification for a technical skill like ours. However, there is no specific NVQ available for our profession.
Therefore, we have made the decision that Harris Installation Services Ltd will make enquiries into developing our own NVQ based qualification.
Many difficulties arise out of this decision. Creating the course is, on the face of it, a simple process. Then we must go into accreditation with City and Guilds for recognition to the CSCS scheme (very important for us and other installers in the trade). Then we can begin to roll out the course to the rest of the trade and deliver the necessary training in a cost-effective fashion. This will raise the profile of the industry and promote a higher level of professionalism.
Hopefully we will be able to increase the recognition for our trade and highlight the relevance of Furniture Installation in Construction. The final stages of the construction of a new building will often be the installation of the office space. Because this stage usually occurs prior to the final hand-over it is almost always controlled by CSCS conditions and, because our specific role has been mostly overlooked by the scheme, we should be able to cast light on the grey area we work in and help our industry move forward.