Dulux Academy in full swing
AkzoNobel, parent company of Dulux Trade, has officially opened the UK’s first academy for painters and decorators, with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the Minister of State for Employment, Priti Patel.
First announced last year the Dulux Academy will give more than 4,000 decorators and apprentices the chance to improve their skills each year with new courses in techniques and ways of working, receiving expert advice in applying paints and coverings, and gaining an advanced understanding of the essential principles of colour, design and sustainability.
The Academy will also equip decorators at varying stages of their careers with the skills to build, run and promote a successful company, with a variety of business and marketing courses available.
The first ever City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Colour, Design and Professional Decorating – a qualification established specifically for Dulux Academy – will also be on offer.
In addition to training existing professionals, Akzo say the Dulux Academy aims to train a new generation of painters and decorators, helping to improve standards and address the skills shortage across the industry.
The academy will work with colleges nationwide to provide 350 workplace opportunities for promising students to inspire the next generation of painters and decorators. Tutors at these colleges will also learn about the latest products, methods and design technology to ensure they are passing on the latest skills and techniques to their students.
In the UK, the traditional painting and decorating workforce is ageing and it is an industry where young entrants are declining; with a 39% reduction in construction-based apprenticeships in 2013.
The government has committed to building one million new homes by 2020, to help tackle the national housing shortage.
However, in a report published at the end of 2014, KPMG found that the training provision in the construction sector needs to be increased by an average of 51% to meet the demand for labour between 2014 and 2017.
Minister of State for Employment, Priti Patel said, “High quality apprenticeships are essential to support businesses and to help our economy prosper in the years to come.
“With its fantastic new training academy and City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate, employers like Dulux are leading the way. We are committed to working hand-in-hand with industry to boost the number of apprenticeships our economy needs.
“This is why we have pledged to create three million more apprenticeships by 2020 so more people and businesses can reach their full potential.”
Vickie Mather, Dulux Academy Manager, AkzoNobel, commented, “A dedicated facility specifically for painters and decorators is what the trade has been missing and so it will be good news for professionals that the Dulux Academy not only addresses current skills gaps within the industry, but will also become a life-long learning partner throughout a decorator’s career. The core curriculum is designed to help them effectively build their business with accredited training courses that they can also offer to their employees, ensuring they can offer the best services for their customers.