Up-skilling local fitters by means of training courses supported by industry to ensure the ongoing sustainability of SA’s flooring industry with regard to fitting skills.

Now in its third year of operation since its registration as a private FET, Sparrow FET College has trained just over 100 students in its Installation of Floor Coverings course, which has an NQF Level 1. Of the 100 students, 70% have qualified and received their certificates, whilst others are still completing their workplace experience component.

There are currently 30 students who are in training at the college and who will enter the workforce in January to complete the practical part of their training, which offers them invaluable hands-on experience.

The very nature of the qualification encourages partnership between industry and training providers by creating a pipeline that feeds trainees into the workplace to be trained and mentored. To strengthen the partnership of this program, key players such as the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA), CETA and Belgotex Floorcoverings, as well as other industry representatives, gathered at Sparrow FET College in Sophiatown in September 2014.

This event provided the ideal opportunity to highlight the achievements of Sparrow’s training partnership, aimed at inspiring everyone in the flooring industry to learn more about their program and to participate in future training initiatives.

In addition, guided tours of the college enabled attendees to meet and interact with the current group of students. FITA and Sparrow FET College also embraced the opportunity to thank CETA and flooring industry stakeholders for their support. It is because of their backing that a number of students have gained full-time employment as floor fitters.

“The skills level of black African workers has not increased as it should have over the past 20 years, with the skills level of black youth aged 25 to 34 having regressed,” stated Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA) Statistician-General Pali Lehohla on Monday, 15 September 2014.

Due to the fact that industry has partnered with Sparrow, there has been (and will continue to be) a reduction in unemployment in South Africa, allowing young people to master a new set of valuable skills. This enhances government’s call for industry involvement in training by partnering with FET Colleges.

Manufacturers and installers are greatly encouraged to get involved with FITA to ensure the ongoing improvement of fitters in South Africa. Please contact Patty Vermaak on 011 794 9295 or patty@fitasa.co.za.