Featured, Training


Bob Howard MBE, TTA Director and Chairman of the Training Committee, has become an approved CITB Construction Ambassador.

CITB developed its Construction Ambassador programme to help promote career opportunities within the construction industry and to enable it to interact with young people within schools. There is now a regional network of Construction Ambassadors who work in construction, covering all trades and professions. They are able to give young people a real life perspective on the industry by visiting schools and attending careers conventions, where they can disseminate first hand information on what it is like to work in construction.

TTA has worked for many years to encourage skills development in the industry. As a founder director and through his 45 years’ involvement in training, in particular the Training Committee, Bob Howard has personally driven much of this work, including the introduction of modern apprenticeships. Bob has also been instrumental in the development of the new on-site construction vocational T Levels, which are coming in during 2020.

TTA has also worked with CITB to obtain funding for the training of new NVQ assessors. The provision of an assessor infrastructure for the wall and floor tiling sector across the UK will support quality assured assessment of experienced operatives to NVQL2. Funding is also available for NVQ EWPAR/OSAT training, which is designed to help fixers obtain their CSCS cards. It is the intention to promote and support a skilled and qualified workforce, which will stimulate the market by providing a route to qualification for experienced operatives via on-site assessment.

In recent years TTA has become an Approved Training Organisation and has developed its own CITB-approved short courses, which are designed to upskill the industry and enable those in work to improve their skills levels in certain specific areas. An example is the current programme of training sessions on Large Format Tiles, which are being run nationally with the assistance and involvement of TTA member companies.

TTA also supports Skillbuild and encourages participation, helping to promote the competition through the Association’s various communication channels. It is delighted that TTA member Nicobond is a sponsor of Skillbuild this year.

Working with construction colleges, a number of which are TTA members, and industry bodies such as CITB, Build UK, CPA, CSCS and NHTG (National Heritage Training Group), TTA has positioned itself as the major force promoting training in the tiling sector. Almost all of this has come about due to Bob Howard’s involvement, expertise and knowledge. He is therefore an ideal Construction Ambassador to encourage school leavers into a career in construction.

“Since leaving school at the age of 15 and following my six-year indentured apprenticeship, I have always been passionate about training in our industry,” he says. “My view is that having highly skilled operatives working in the industry is the best way for them to achieve their own highest personal development and it is also the way to ensure that we as an industry continue to produce the best possible work and maximise customer satisfaction.

“The role of Construction Ambassador is a new and developing one, but I very much look forward to getting out there and hopefully being able to play a role in encouraging the next generation to get involved in this great industry of ours.”

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