Twenty-One-year-old Luke Stanbury of Bateau Bay, has become the first person in Australia to complete the newly created trade qualification for the blind manufacturing and installation industry via TAFE.
Before now, the industry, estimated to employ over 155,000 Australia wide, had no formal trade qualifications and with no formal qualification was often open to unscrupulous behaviour with no industry standards.
Luke completed his Cert III in Blinds, Awnings, Security Screens and Grilles in July 2017 becoming the first to complete the newly created trade certificate in Australia. Under the guidance of Grant Cohen at Hunter Tafe, Premier Shades industry experts as well as blind industry stake holders, Luke was able to learn via Hunter Tafe and on the job with industry professionals sharing their knowledge.
Director of Premier Shades, Awnings and Blinds, Sharon Tieman says, "We saw a lot of backyard operators creeping into the marketplace with an ad hoc approach to installation, manufacturing and customer service. As a local manufacturer, we see this industry as a viable career choice and wanted our young employees to be rewarded with trade credibility and a secure career path."
According to James Boston, the Editor of Windows Magazine, the leading Blind Industry Publication, wrote in his welcome in the July 2017 issue, "many states already require installers to have some formal recognition of installation skills, usually a non-industry related building course. With the Certificate III in Blinds, Awnings, Security Screens and Grills the industry will have recognition of this competence" he goes on to comment "The optimisation of this certificate into three streams:manufacturing, production, installation and customer service. Until now the first of these three has essentially been run ad hoc in house, whilst the second two have fallen upon retailers and their wholesalers to deliver."
The BMAA (Blind Manufacturers Industry of Australia) is currently working with the Frontline Group and Government bodies to streamline and finetune the new trade certification. The Association members met in May in Melbourne to discuss the Certification with feedback from over 100 industry leaders, including, Sharon Tieman from Premier Shades of Wyoming. (Central Coast).
Luke has attended a number of training days in and outside his place of work over the past 2 years. Luke has had specialised training with industry leaders such as Somfy Motors, Aluxor Folding Arm Awnings, Acmeda componentry, Verosol, Ricky Richards Fabrics, Texstyle Fabrics, Pinz, and Ziptrak.
Make no mistake, the highlight of his industry training was an all expensive paid trip to the Gold Coast in June 2016 when he attended the BMAA Blind Industry Super Expo held at the Convention Centre. The Super Expo event is only on every 3 years, and is a great chance for industry professionals to see the latest trends and ideas from Europe and Asia. Luke commented about the event "every stand you go to you learn new things and how many new products there were. I was also really suprised how big the blind industry was and how professional it was"
Luke has been studying his trade and working at Premier Shades since January 2015, mainly working in manufacturing and installation of internal and external blinds. On completion of his trade qualifications Cert III he has expressed an interest to develop his career and skills in the industry with a focus on installation within the company. He has been retained in his full time position at Premier Shades and they will help him develop these skills to advance his career.
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