AkzoNobel, parent company of leading professional paint brand Dulux Trade, has today launched its first UK academy for industry professionals, including architects, painters and decorators, with an official opening by the Minister of State for Employment, Priti Patel.
The academy will give more than 4000 professionals the chance to upskill each year with new techniques and ways of working. The academy offers expert advice in applying paints and coverings, and allows those enrolled to gain an advanced understanding of the essential principles of colour, design and sustainability. The academy will also equip industry professionals 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, the Dulux Academy will train a new generation of painters and decorators, addressing the skills shortage across the industry and enabling specifiers to access high-quality professionals.
The academy will work with colleges nationwide to provide 350 workplace opportunities for promising students and 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 – 2013 saw a 39% reduction in construction-based apprenticeships. A recent report by the Construction Industry Training Board found that the greatest demand for increased provision of skilled labour was in the interior fit, and painting and decorating sectors.
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 says: “ª”High quality apprenticeships are essential to support businesses and to help our economy prosper in the years to come.”¬”¬”¬”¬
“ª”¬”¬”¬”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.”¬
“ª”¬”¬”¬”¬”ª”This is why we have pledged to create three million more apprenticeships by 2020 so more people and businesses can reach their full potential.””¬”¬”¬”¬
Matt Pullen, AkzoNobel’s MD for the UK and Ireland, comments: “We are committed to helping the government to get Britain building but we know a major barrier to achieving that is the shortage of skilled labour. In London and the South East alone there is currently a shortfall of 33,000 painters and decorators.
“The Dulux Academy will foster craft and entrepreneurship and give our industry the authority and professionalism it deserves.
“We are excited to be meeting the challenge of equipping a generation of skilled labourers, significantly increasing industry capacity to build, fit and finish houses in the UK.”
Duncan Lochhead, commercial marketing manager, AkzoNobel, says: “At AkzoNobel, we have built a formidable knowledge of substrates over the years and have historically been very innovative with product and application techniques.
“With the Dulux Academy, we want to share that knowledge with the wider industry, including architects and other specifiers. It is important for other industry professionals to keep up to date with the latest trends and methods within the building sector, and the Academy will enable them to continuously improve their professional skills.”