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10 questions with… Paul Sycamore, our Training Manager

10 questions with… Paul Sycamore, our Training Manager

We caught up with Paul Sycamore, our new Training Manager, to ask him about his first ever job, his current role in the Bostik Academy, and what’s the most valuable lesson he’s learned along the way. Here’s what he had to say…

1. What was your first ever job?

My first proper job was working as a waiter in a pub in Nottingham, starting when I was 14. Before that I always worked with my dad, who was an engineer. As soon as I could hold a drill, I was working!

2. How did you get into the flooring industry?

I was at college studying music technology when a job came up at a local flooring company, basically as a lackey to help them out over the summer. And after the summer, they asked me to stay on, so it went from there.

I enjoyed the work and was very lucky with my training. The guys there were technically minded, old-school fitters who did things the right way, and that was bred into me. I was with that company for over 11 years.

3. How would you describe your current role?

As Training Manager at Bostik, my main responsibility is to oversee training sessions at the Bostik Academy. I also visit colleges, training schools, and events where we can offer our support. In addition to this, I am regularly on the road providing onsite support and training for contractors.

4. What’s the best thing about working at Bostik?

Our team. I’ve got fantastic bosses, Darren Robinson and Steve Thornton, and the team we’ve got around us is absolutely fantastic. We discuss everything as a team and I’m continually supported in developing my skills and knowledge to help ensure the Bostik technical team is second-to-none.

5. What is a positive of the flooring industry?

The flooring industry is always evolving with new products coming out to meet the demands, which means that there is always the opportunity to learn something new. The job satisfaction that comes from working within the flooring industry is huge, as you can almost immediately see the results of what you have done. The different disciplines within the flooring sector also provide huge job variety and many different paths you can follow – something that’s not true with many other trades.

“The job satisfaction that comes from working within the flooring industry is huge, as you can almost immediately see the results of what you have done”

6. What is a negative of the flooring industry?

That it’s not classed as a trade and is still classed as semi-skilled, which is disappointing – especially when you see the complexity and design of some of the installations being fitted. It is a highly skilled job and should be recognised as such.

7. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?

Measure twice, cut once!

8. What do you think the future holds for the industry?

I’d say flooring has got some challenging times coming up, due to the fact not enough skilled people are coming into the profession. Saying that, I think the industry will bounce back quickly – just look at the amount of apprenticeships there are now and the quality of training that’s on offer. Plus, everyone is still going to need a floor fitted.

9. What’s unique about the Bostik Academy facility?

It’s a really calm, pleasant environment where we provide both theoretical and practical training on the Bostik range. We aim to deliver the training in a hands-on way, with attendees mixing and applying products in a supportive environment. I want them to go away with a knowledge of and confidence with our products and know that they can call us anytime for advice or a refresher if needed.

We offer all kinds of training, and we adapt it to whatever the attendees want – be it in person or online. For example, if someone wants to enhance their knowledge of smoothing compounds, we can focus on smoothing compounds, etc. Every session we do is unique, whether it’s two people or 24. It’s all about meeting the clients’ requirements.

10. Finally, if you could be any character from film or TV, who would you be and why?

James Bond because he’s suave, sophisticated, and cool under pressure. Plus he gets to travel the world and is not bad with the ladies!