The NTCA Apprenticeship Program
Like many other industries, the tile industry is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the long-standing problem of a shortage in skilled labor in our industry. One way to address the labor shortage in our businesses is to develop a tile finishers and tile setters apprenticeship program.
The NTCA offers guidance to its members to help them develop their own apprenticeship program. The NTCA Apprenticeship Guidelines Program – part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Apprenticeship System – combines field experience, classroom training, and online coursework offered through NTCA University. Apprentices receive paid on-the-job training while also participating in classroom instruction. After completing the apprenticeship, the trainee earns a certification that can create opportunities for advancement.
You may ask yourself if it is worthwhile to start your own apprenticeship program. This is a reasonable question, as it will require a commitment of time and effort on the part of the employer to set up the program and use creative strategies to attract and retain young workers.
But beyond developing highly- skilled workers, establishing your own apprenticeship program has several other benefits to you as an employer, including that these types of apprenticeship programs may qualify for state and federal tax credits and may be eligible for federal funding to cover other training-related expenses (e.g., supplies).
The NTCA Apprenticeship Guidelines Program is an invaluable resource for our members. It reflects one of the many benefits of being part of a trade association that is a leader in its field as demonstrated by not only supporting its members but adding highly-skilled tile setters to the workforce. I encourage you to take a bold step to become part of the solution in the labor shortage in our field by developing your own company apprenticeship program. You can find additional information about the NTCA Apprenticeship Guidelines Program at https://www.tile-assn.com/page/ntcaapprenticeship.
Martin G. Brookes, President
National Tile Contractors Association
Martin Brookes is an experienced company president with a demonstrated history of working in the building materials industry. Skilled in construction, contractors, contract negotiation, sales management, and flooring. Strong business development professional with a City and Guilds London Institute focused in Mason/Masonry from Chesterfield College of Technology.
Brookes is the 2021-2022 President for the National Tile Contractors Association.