Navigation Menu+
Commercial Flooring News

Sid’s Challenge On The Apprenticeship Status

Sid Bourne on the British Wood Flooring Association

I AM passionate about apprenticeships in wood flooring. So I get angry when certain companies appear to claim the credit for offering these apprenticeships, something they are not authorised to do.

I wrote and got ConstructionSkills approval for a two-year apprenticeship for wood flooring for the British Wood Flooring Association. No one else other than CSkills was involved. I wrote it to help relieve the skills shortage in the wood flooring industry and also to train the future installers over a two year course to an extremely

high standard.

We know for certain that there is not another provider with the skills to match us. That may sound arrogant, but it is true.

Now suddenly there are other so-called training providers who are making unfounded claims and it is the apprentices who suffer.

These other providers seem to think that they can train a wood floor fitter in two weeks while qualifying them to NVQ standard. And at the same time they can rake the money in from the government.

They are misleading people who are keen to learn to be good installers. I challenge anyone to even come close to matching the BWFA apprenticeship standard. We train people in the art of installation of all wood (not laminate), wood science, border work, blocks, inlays, sports floors, sand and finish and so on.

We certainly know that these other providers do not have the trainers with the skills to show how it’s done. They somehow put sections on wood flooring onto other flooring apprenticeships and then pass them off as qualified wood floor installers. Do you think this is right?

I fully expect some to have a go at me, but I will tell them to their faces that they are destroying the apprenticeship principle simply because of the money. Everyone has to make money, but don’t abuse the young apprentice’s trust. He mistakenly thinks he is learning how to install wood and able to do advanced work.

I personally challenge any trainer in wood apprenticeships to show me one-on-one how good you are and what you can do. That’s my offer.

The BWFA has teamed up with FloorSkills which has been running apprenticeships with great success. We are not doing this primarily for gain. I am simply saying that if you sign up for a wood apprenticeship, make sure that you get the same standard of training that is available from the BWFA and FloorSkills, I can tell you that you won’t.

People can have a go at me, but I will not stay silent while apprentices are not being taught correctly and adequately.

I decided to write this article after going to Harrogate, where I was shocked to hear stories from apprentices, some who have passed. They told me that they only did a few days on wood and even then it was basic.
I asked a few lads some very basic questions and not one of them knew the answers. It’s not the apprentice’s fault it’s the so-called providers.

The last group of BWFA apprentices did all this work with the floor at 45 degrees with double border and inlay. They are also shown how to make the inlay and insert it into floor. Where else can you get taught this? This shows even at this stage how high the standards are for the BWFA wood floor apprenticeship.
Again the BWFA group created this logo (pictured) and inserted it into floor. They will even advance beyond this standard over the time they are at the BWFA apprenticeship.

If you would like to book your apprentice onto the BWFA apprenticeship, contact Dave Brown.


T: 01709 749062

M: 07515 885 912

Office 0114 360 1105 Flooring Assessments are an official CSkills

CAA apprenticeship provider in floorcovering level 2 & 3. We have the certificate award if you wish to see. Full funding in carpet, impervious and wood apprenticeships is normally available.


T: 07841 500940

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at