Upholstery businesses are already aware of today's skills deficit. The question we keep asking ourselves is, "So how can education help?"
When we use the phrase, “professional training,” we consider that to mean skills which are “relevant and employable.”
So as we developed FLC Upholstery 200: Fundamentals, we didn’t just talk with students: we talked with businesses.
What skills would help facilitate apprenticeship success? What would training look like if the primary end goal was employment?
From an educational perspective, this led us to focus on practical, modern skills that are highly relevant in today’s upholstery market, rather than an outdated curriculum that lacks relevance to actual employment opportunities.
But how do we connect the complex dots between student and professional?
With the overwhelming lack of local education, the most realistic strategy for businesses currently looking to grow is training on the job. No small task, to put it lightly.
FLC Fundamentals was created to work for these businesses and their promising candidates. It’s a training accelerator that intentionally walks a student through the skills, processes, terminology and materials they’re most likely to need early in their career. These are the critical building blocks that will prepare an apprentice to be more coachable, and to contribute meaningful value to a business sooner.
This is no theoretical proposition: Our team has extensive first-hand experience with multi-member workrooms, and apprentices within them. We feel very driven to design training in a way that supports mutually beneficial hiring scenarios.
Training through a business can provide serious candidates with access to mentors, experience, and equipment – incredible supports to education.
Investing in a candidate, either with access to practice space, tuition reimbursement, work study, or a scholarship, gives businesses early access to new professionals, and a hiring pool that might not otherwise exist.
But education is no magic bullet – not in any field, and certainly not in upholstery, where fluency demands thousands of hours of practice.
So if you are a business considering apprenticeships as a way of growing your team, here are some practical recommendations to increase your likelihood of success.
We hope these recommendations give you some meaningful food for thought. Hiring is more challenging than ever, but so are the potential rewards for businesses who successfully overcome the barriers.
Learn more about and sign up for our Fundamentals Program.
To learn more about the general principles of hiring, managing delegating, and scaling, here are a few of our favorite books:
- The Best Team Wins: Build Your Business Through Predictive Hiring – Adam Robinson
- Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team – Scott Miller
- The E-Myth, Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – Michael Gerber
- Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply your Time – Rory Vaden