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Book early for TTA member networking events

The TTA has some great networking events coming up for members in October, November and December. Members are urged to book early to avoid missing out.

There are two dates just for fixer members, on 14th October at Punch Tavern in London, and on 4th November at Jamie’s Italian in Birmingham. They’re a great opportunity to discuss latest Tile Association and wider industry news and to network with colleagues from across the country.

On 9th December – at The Grazing Goat in London – is the annual Tileman’s Lunch. Please do book early to secure your place as this is a hugely popular event.

Email info@tile.org.uk to book your place.

networking

Bob Howard appointed new National Heritage Training Group chairman

Bob Howard

Tile Association board member Bob Howard MBE has been appointed the new chairman of the National Heritage Training Group.

Bob says he is excited by the challenge of taking the NHTG forward at a time of increasing political and economic uncertainty.

“Despite everything else that is going on around us,” he said, “we must not lose focus on the challenges facing the heritage sector, not least the alarming shortages in our traditional crafts skills base.

“Our architectural inheritance must be safeguarded for future generations and that can only be achieved through training and education. We must ensure vital skills, knowledge and experiences are passed on and I firmly believe it is the role and indeed the responsibility of the NHTG to oversee this transition.”

nhtg-logo

Bob also sees the work of the NHTG Project Management Board in delivering the new bursary programme (funded by HLF to provide heritage training in the workplace) as a great example of how the NHTG is shaping the future of the sector.

“I hope my own extensive craft and industry experience accumulated over the past 52 years will help NHTG in our promotion and delivery of heritage skills to a workforce which will be increasingly in demand.”

Born and educated in Manchester, Bob has been in the wall and floor tiling industry since leaving school. His career path took him from a five-year bound indentured apprenticeship to become a lecturer at the Manchester College of Building before moving south in 1978 to become director and subsequently managing director of a London-based tiling contractor.

He was the last chairman of the National Association of Master Tile Fixers and one of the founders of The Tile Association. As past chairman and current board member of the TTA he chairs the Training Committee, represents the Technical Committee and carries out technical inspections on their behalf, but still finds time to run his own business as an independent consultant for wall and floor tiling.

Bob also represents the TTA in Europe where he is President of the European Union of Tile Fixers, an umbrella organisation that represents 11 European Trade Associations from its registered office in Brussels.

In 2012 in the Jubilee Honours List, Her Majesty the Queen presented Bob with the MBE for services to the British wall and floor tiling industry. He is also a Liveryman to The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers.

An NHTG spokesman said: “The NHTG is delighted that such a passionate, influential and experienced individual will be leading the team forward in the next stages of its development as it continues to promote heritage skills as a priority for UK construction.”

Schlüter-Systems to sponsor UK tiling team at WorldSkills 2017

The 44th WorldSkills Competition will be taking place in Abu Dhabi in October 2017 and Schlüter-Systems has announced their sponsorship of the UK tiling team.

WorldSkills

The WorldSkills Competition is a flagship event: held every two years, it is the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world, which truly reflects global industry.

A total of 72 member countries and regions will be taking part in the competition, showcasing the very best talent their country has to offer in 50 skills ranging from floristry to tiling. With over 1,200 competitors and tens of thousands of visitors it will certainly be a spectacular event.

Schlüter-Systems has been the market leader in essential accessories for tile and stone since it was founded in 1966. With over 10,000 products in its range, Schlüter-Systems provides second-to-none edge protection, complete system-solutions and dedicated technical support, to ensure perfect protection and decoration to any tiling project.

Offering detailed training programmes Schlüter keep specifiers, installers, and resellers up to date with modern trends and new technology, safeguarding the longevity and integrity of installations. They also offer the latest training to other training course providers and lecturers running TTA-accredited NVQ tiling courses, Intermediate Construction Award, Advanced Construction Award, and Experienced Worker Route schemes for tilers.

Andrew Curry, Training Manager for Schlüter-Systems Ltd explain: “Understanding and knowledge of our products enables quicker, more efficient and effective installations. Being committed to excellence in training, we work in partnership with many organisations, including The Tile Association, Stone Federation Great Britain, and RIBA.

“We are proud to be sponsoring the UK Squad, WorldSkills is a great way of exchanging latest industry innovations and best practices and Schlüter-Systems have chosen to support the UK Tiling team as a commitment to the industry and will also be offering free training to the team in advance of the competition; we wish the team the very best of luck.”

The three competitors for the UK Squad have been selected from the finals of the WorldSkills UK Competitions and are announced as, Jack Radford from New College, Nottingham and Kieran Magee and Armondas Tamulis both from Southern Regional College, Northern Ireland.

The competitors will be trained by Paul Doran, a lecturer at Southern Regional College and in March next year they will compete for the one place to represent the UK in Wall and Floor Tiling at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017.

Paul Doran, UK Expert for Wall and Floor Tiling said: “We are extremely grateful for the support of Schlüter-Systems Ltd and we will work with them to deliver a comprehensive training programme for Squad UK. The competitors have a challenging journey ahead of them as they prepare to take on the best tilers in the world but they are determined to show just how talented the UK’s apprentices are.”

Representing the best of their peers, the Squad UK members demonstrate technical abilities both individually and collectively to execute specific tiling related challenges.

For more information on Schlüter-Systems Ltd visit www.schluter.co.uk, email pr@schluter.co.uk or call +44 (0)1530 813396

TTA fixers get the chance to compete at Cersaie

Two TTA tile fixer members have the chance to compete in the prestigious EUF tiling competition at Cersaie in September.

The Tile Association is a member of the EUF — the Federation of European Tile Fixers Association — with Robert Howard MBE having taken over the presidency in May this year.

Cersaie

It is envisaged there will be three or four teams of fixers made up from different members of the EUF who will work together to complete a technical challenge, set by the EUF’s Technical Commission and involving the fixing of large format panels.

The competition will run at Cersaie on 27th and 28th September 2016 within the Assoposa stand. All competition work wear and equipment will be provided by the EUF and Assoposa.

Accommodation from 26th to 29th September is generously provided by the Italian Ceramic Industry’s federation Confindustria Ceramica. You will also be provided with lunch on the competition days.

Fixers are responsible for their own flights and all other meals — however, the TTA will be exploring the possibility of sponsorship via members.

If you are interested in participating in the competition, not to mention obtaining a wealth of experience and networking opportunities, please let the TTA know as soon as possible, providing details of your fixing experience and qualifications.

Responses to support@tile.org.uk must be received by Thursday 7th July at the latest to ensure nominations are with the organisers in good time

TTA strengthens board with three new directors

The TTA, the trade association for the whole tiling industry – retailers, distributors, manufacturers and fixers – has strengthened its board with the appointment of three new directors, bringing the number on the board up to 14.

TTA

In combination with the existing board members, the new additions represent a mix of experience and fresh insight from different strands within the tiling industry.

The first new appointee is Richard Wallis, managing director of Norcros Adhesives, who has been a member of the TTA’s marketing committee for the past year, although not previously a director. With his wide experience of the adhesives sector, his appointment will bring a fresh approach to the working of the TTA.

Ian Crowther, northern operations manager of N&C Building Products, on the other hand, has an existing wide experience of the TTA, having been a founder board member of the Association who is coming back to the main board, after a period focusing on other aspects of the TTA’s work. He is currently chair of the marketing committee and brings a wealth of experience of the TTA at all levels.

The third new board member, David Rowley, training manager at BAL, also has many years experience working for the TTA, latterly as chair of the supply chain committee. Dave’s particular area of expertise is in training, both in a TTA and a BAL capacity – and he is widely known and respected throughout the industry for his work in that area. He organizes the Skillbuild event, in which the TTA works in partnership with the CITB, and he has also worked on the development of the TTA’s new Retail Training Apprenticeship.

The appointment of the TTA’s new board members was ratified at the Association’s AGM in May.

Chairman Ian Kershaw says: “I’m delighted that we are able to announce these appointments which will help carry the Association forward in the coming years. I am happy that as long as we continue to attract representatives from our industry of this calibre to sit on our board, the TTA is in good hands.”

CSCS announces card changes

CSCS has announced changes to the process for obtaining trainee, supervisory and manager cards.

CSCS cards

Trainee Cards

From 1 August 2016, only one Trainee card will be available which will cover all construction occupations. This will replace the Trainee (Craft and Operative) and Trainee (Technical, Supervisory and Management) cards that are currently available, although these existing cards will remain valid until their expiry date.

In order to obtain the new Trainee card, an individual must:

  • Register for a CSCS recognised construction related qualification which will be based on National Occupational Standards (NOS)
  • Have completed the appropriate CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test within the last 2 years.

The new Trainee cards will be valid for five years and cardholders must complete their CSCS recognised construction related qualification before the card expires. This will ensure they are able to progress onto a skilled CSCS card.

Individuals had previously been able to obtain a Trainee (Technical, Supervisory and Management) card if they held a construction related qualification that was not based on National Occupational Standards, such as SSSTS, SMSTS and NEBOSH General. This approach had caused confusion, with cardholders unable to progress to a skilled CSCS card if they had not subsequently gained a NOS based qualification. This route will therefore no longer be available from 1 August 2016.

Supervisory and Manager Cards

CSCS has also updated the qualifications requirements for obtaining Supervisory and Managers cards with immediate effect. The qualifications that were previously required to obtain these cards are no longer available, although they remain a valid route for gaining a card.

To qualify for a Supervisory card you must now:

  • Achieve a Construction Related Supervisory NVQ or SVQ level 4, or;
  • Hold a Construction Related Supervisory NVQ level 3 (course no longer available), and;
  • Pass the Supervisors CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test.

To qualify for a Manager card you must now:

  • Achieve a Construction Related NVQ/SVQ level 5, 6 or 7 in the relevant construction management level qualification, or;
  • Hold a NVQ level 4 in construction management (course no longer available), and;
  • Pass the CITB Managers and Professionals Health, Safety and Environment Test.

To help applicants apply for the correct CSCS card, Build UK has published a handy Guide to CSCS Cards flowchart which now reflects these changes. You can see it HERE

International conference on slips, trips and falls in October

An international conference on slips, trips and falls is being held in London in October.

Slips trips falls

Slips, Trips and Falls 2016 takes place on 4th and 5th October at Farmers & Fletchers in the City of London, organised by the UK Slip Resistance Group and partly sponsored by The Tile Association.

Conference participants will have a unique opportunity to learn about the latest slips, trips and falls research through a diverse range of practical workshops, technical sessions and panel discussions led by internationally-renowned experts. It promises to be a hugely beneficial event.

There is lots more information HERE

TTA members can take centre stage at The Tiling Show

A packed programme of demonstrations organised by The Tile Association will be taking place at the first ever Tiling Show in September.

The Tiling Show — a brand new exhibition that will be running alongside The Flooring Show — will be held at the Harrogate International Centre from 18th to 20th September 2016.

The TTA Demo Zone will be at the heart of the show, with practical presentations lifting the lid on a huge range of topics and techniques.

The schedule for the three days is below, and TTA members are encouraged to book one of the slots if they would like to take centre stage at the event.

Ian Kershaw, chairman of the TTA, said: “The Tile Asociation is delighted to be partnering with the prestigious Harrogate Flooring Show to create the first-ever UK Tiling Show in 2016. After a number of years without a dedicated tiling show for the UK market, we view the launch of The Tiling Show as a very welcome development. This will be somewhere that our members and others in the tiling sector can do business, network, learn about the key trends and view demonstrations in the TTA Demo Zone.”

The Tiling Show is also a perfect exhibition opportunity and members of the Tile Association get a 10% reduction to exhibit. Further information and pricing is available on The Tiling Show’s website. If you’d like more information, email support@tile.org.uk or call 0300 365 8453

Here’s the schedule for the TTA Tiling Show Demo Zone. TTA member businesses who would like to present in the Demo Zone should call 0300 365 8453 or email support@tile.org.uk to book one of the slots below:

SUNDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER

10am — Introduction and application of heating cables to prepared floor

10.30am — Introduction and application of levelling compound over heating cables

1pm — Introduction to tools used and cutting of large format tiles including thin porcelain

1.30pm — Introduction and application of decoupling mats

3pm — Fixing of large format porcelain tiles

3.30pm — Grouting using flexible grouts or admixes

MONDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER

10am — Introduction and application of wet room systems

1pm — Introduction to tools used and cutting of ceramic and glass mosaic tiles

1.30pm — Fixing of ceramic/glass mosaics

3pm — Grouting of mosaics using flexible grouts

3.30pm — Grouting using epoxy grouts

TUESDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER

10am — Introduction and types of stone

10.30am — Introduction and application of sealing of stone

1pm — Introduction to tools used and cutting of natural stone products

1.30 — Fixing of natural stones

As well as the TTA Demo Zone, The Trends Hub will give visitors from both the retail and contract sector inspiration and ideas of where the market is heading in terms of design over the next few years. And there’s a packed seminar programme too — see the full schedule HERE

And there is lots more information about the whole event HERE

Build UK drives standards for construction

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Build UK continues to drive positive change in the UK’s construction industry, building on its progress over the past eight months with the release of two new industry standards.

The Safety Helmet Colours and Training Standards, drafted in consultation with, and the full support of, Build UK members to develop best practice and ensure the effective delivery of construction projects across the UK.

Using simple colour coding to identify on-site personnel, the Safety Helmet Colours Standard provides a clear and consistent approach to improve communication and safety across construction projects.

The Training Standard, which was developed in response to the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) recommendation to specify and promote card schemes carrying the CSCS logo, will help contractors to assess the competence of construction workers, along with their eligibility to work on-site.

The latest standards follow an impressive period of activity for Build UK since its inception in 2015, a period which has seen the organisation use its substantial weight to make a difference to a number of industry issues including illegal working, prequalification,
payment, the skills shortage and the procurement of British steel.

The response from Build UK members has been extremely positive and Julie White, Chairman of the Training and Skills Leadership Group, said: “We’ve had some great, open discussion at our Build UK member forums and it’s fantastic to see the new industry standards taking shape.

“Both the Safety Helmet Colours and Training Standards provide clear and practical help for everyone working on-site, showing that by improving our working relationships and using our collective voice, we can make a real difference to the industry.”

Suzannah Nichol MBE, Chief Executive of Build UK, said: “Health and safety is a priority for Build UK and we are delighted with the positive response from our members who have welcomed the latest standards, which aim to make life easier and help them meet the increasing demands of working on-site.

“We will continue to bring the contracting supply chain together to engage intelligently and collaboratively in policy debates ensuring that Build UK, as the voice of the industry, leads positive and meaningful change.”

Carnival time at the 2016 TTA Awards!

What. A. Night!

The TTA Awards gala dinner and presentations on Saturday 14th May celebrated the very best in the wall and floor tiling industry.

Held at St John’s Hotel and Conference Centre in Solihull with a Brazilian theme to tie in with this summer’s Rio Olympic Games, the event saw the winners from a wide range of categories claiming their trophies and certificates.

Hosted by ITV’s Emma Jesson, the event also raised almost £3,000 for the TTA’s chosen charity, Children Today.

Huge congratulations to all of the winners – and equal congratulations to all the businesses and individuals who were finalists. And thank you to all businesses who submitted entries last year. The quality and range of awards submissions proves what a healthy state the industry is in.

Gold sponsors for the event were Bellota, N&C Nicobond, Norcros Adhesives and Shackerley.

If you were at the event, could you let us have your feedback? There’s a very short survey HERE – your responses will help us to make future events even better. Thank you.

TTA Awards

2016 TTA Awards – the winners

Lifetime Achievement
James McCann

Excellence in Tile Contracting
Trainor Stone & Tile Ltd

Best Use of Tile in the Leisure/Hospitality Industry
Craven Dunnill Jackfield Ltd: Blues Kitchen, Brixton

Employee of the Year
Chris Myatt

Trainee of the Year
Hannah Bamford
Highly Commended – Billy Davies

Excellence in Tile Distribution
Craven Dunnill & Co Ltd

Excellence in Multiple Retailing
N&C Tiles and Bathrooms

Excellence in Marketing
Tile Choice

Best use of Tile in a Domestic Environment
Stone & Ceramic Ltd: Cowley Street, Westminster

Best Use of Tile in a Commercial Contract
Armatile: St Patrick’s Church, Donaghmore

Trainee Tile Fixer of the Year
Kieran Magee

Excellence in Manufacturing
N&C Nicobond

Excellence in Independent Retailing
Stafford Tiles & Flooring Solutions Ltd

Best Innovation
Warmup: Warmup 4iE

Best Environmental Initiative
Norcros Adhesives: ISO 14001 Accreditation & Pro 30 Fast Track Eco Levelling Compound

The winners of these three categories were selected in a public vote:

Tile Fixer of the Year
Lee Featherstone
Highly Commended – Nigel Davidson

Wall Tile of the Year
Peronda Group: Laccio Collection

Floor Tile of the Year
Craven Dunnill & Co Ltd: Firestone

There was a real buzz on social media on the night. Here are just a few tweets…


Almost £3,000 was also raised on the night for the Tile Association’s chosen charity, Children Today. A game of Heads and Tails and donations made for using the dress-up photo booth on the night helped to raise a magnificent £2,944.

Thank you to everyone for your generosity. Every penny will help Children Today to help disabled young people enjoy a better quality of life by providing them with specialist equipment