FloorNZ is the trading name of the New Zealand Flooring Training Organisation which supports this country’s flooring retailers, wholesalers and installers. Established as a co-operative in December 2015, it has more than 165 Members today.
FloorNZ is playing a key role in meeting the growing demand for professional tradespeople by training the next generation of flooring installers.
The co-operative membership organisation offers courses held in Christchurch at the Allied Trades Institute and trains approximately 100 flooring apprentices a year over a two to three-year period depending on their specialization.
CEO Kari Pearcey says FloorNZ works closely with the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) to increase the number of apprentices working within the industry.
In an interview with the NZ Hardware Journal, she said FloorNZ members shared the concerns of many in the Kiwi construction industry.
“If the Auckland housing market increases rapidly, which is likely, there will be a shortage of installers as traditionally these are small business who don’t take on apprentices unless the economy is doing well. It takes two to three years for an apprentice to complete their training which means if more apprentices are trained in the next few years there will still be a time lag before they are fully qualified,” Kari says.
“So the industry’s main issue going forward is to maintain and increase the number of qualified people in the industry both in the installation and supply sectors. Re-training for existing workers will also need to be provided to enable them to keep up with new products, technology and techniques and generally increase their skill base.”
The co-operative’s nine-member board of directors is chaired by Derek French and includes representatives from the industry’s various sectors. These include manufacturers such as Feltex, Ardex and Jacobsens; and retailers such as Carpet Court, Flooring Xtra and Rangitikei Floorings; as well as installers representing vinyl, timber and tiling.
Cooperative Business NZ Chief Executive Craig Presland met Kari Pearcey in Auckland in late October (2016) and says he is delighted to have an industry training organization become a Full Member of Cooperative Business NZ.
“This organization has close ties with Flooring Xtra, another Full Member of Cooperative Business New Zealand.
“Adding FloorNZ to our membership base seemed logical given its business model of being 100% owned by its Members who include floor covering manufacturers, retailers and installers.
“FloorNZ provides valuable benefits to Members based on business transacted – that’s training conducted and they also demonstrate a clear understanding of, and allegiance towards, co-operative principles,” Craig says.