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Carter Dobson: Diary of a trainee apprentice

Carter Dobson of the Timber Floor Studio, has just begun his 18- month apprenticeship course at the Quick-Step Academy. In this diary written exclusively for CFJ he comments on progress to date:

Skills Group (the company running the apprenticeship) invited us apprentices down to their training centre in Newton Abbot to learn the correct way to prepare a floor. We were met at the station expecting to be booked into a hotel, but we were actually meant to stay at people’s homes. It was really nice, better than coming back to an empty hotel room after a hard day’s training.

We learnt tons on subfloor preparation and it was a great few days. We looked at different subfloors and how to make them ready for floorcoverings. It was a mixture of theory and practical lessons with really great tutors, which I absolutely loved.

We learnt how to mix screed correctly, as well as how to re- profile stairs and how to screed on plywood subfloors. We were even given a free bucket and paddle to help us through the rest of our course, but they were pretty difficult to take home on the train!

Ardex supplied all the products which will apparently be used throughout our apprenticeships.
Unfortunately, I and a few others didn’t quite get enough points for our CSCS card this time round, but I guess that’s just part of the learning process and why being on an apprenticeship course means
that I’ll be a better fitter once I’ve qualified.

Anyway, there is plenty of opportunity to improve. I’m sure I’ll pass it next time round in January. In fact, when you are reading this I’ve probably already passed it!

I’ve even started building my portfolio with certificates for Health & Safety and Diversity. There will be plenty more of these as it’s part of what the Skills Group calls its Quality Credit Framework.

Basically, it shows that I have learned more than just installing floorcoverings, but also about efficient working practices, employment responsibilities, health and safety and other things that are important to being safe

on site.

What’s really great news for me is that this apprenticeship has a 40% weighting on wood and laminate floors. It’s what I will be doing at the Timber Floor Studio.

I am really excited about my trip to Manchester to begin work at the Quick-Step Academy as my course really gets underway. I will tell you about it in my next article in CFJ

Carter Dobson works for the Timber Floor Studio which has outlets in Sheffield and Worksop offering specialist wood and laminate supply and fit services.

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