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Developing The Dulux Academy

Developing The Dulux Academy

Using her extensive experience in strategic HR management and learning and development, Dulux Academy Manager, Vickie Mather was responsible for leading the development of the Dulux Academy. We caught up with Vickie to see what went into creating this centre of excellence and discovered just how far we've come since then.

What were your main considerations when putting together the curriculum for the Dulux Academy?

The key question when designing the course curriculum for Dulux Academy was what does the industry need! We are fully aware of the national qualifications delivered by the colleges and wanted to ensure that our range of courses would complement these and provide additional learnings for those wanting to upskill or learn something new.

We held a number of research events to fully understand the needs of decorators and employers and continue to do so even though we've launched. It's important to ensure our offer remains current and as new products or innovation comes into decorating, we want to ensure we are ready to deliver courses on it at Dulux Academy.

What range of courses are available at the Dulux Academy?

People are often surprised by the range of courses we have on offer. There really is something for everyone. Our curriculum is centred on four key areas Product, Application and Innovation, Sustainability, Colour & Design and Business Management. We also offer our own exclusive City & Guilds Level 3 Qualification in Colour, Design & Professional Decorating and have partnered with Nationwide Platforms to offer the IPAF and PASMA qualifications.

What were you looking for in the Dulux Academy trainers?

Having a credible team of trainers is key to the success of Dulux Academy. Not only do the team need to be great decorators and passionate about the industry as a whole they need to be able to pass on their knowledge in an effective way to a range of audiences which is a skill in itself. It's also really important to me that the team work well together and that we all enjoy what we do - after all adding fun to learning creates the best educational experience.

What can people expect from a day at the Dulux Academy?

On arrival you will be greeted by the team and a breakfast to set you up for the day. Most courses start with some theory in one of the classrooms and then it's onto the practical application. We've partnered with a number of key suppliers to ensure that the products, tools and equipment you will use during your time with us are the best in the industry.

We've deliberately kept our course group sizes small to enable you to get the time you need to learn and get your specific questions answered. During the day you'll meet other decorators so you can network and share experiences and we'll also provide you with lunch and even an afternoon treat! On completion of the course you'll get a certificate of attendance which we've seen people posting on their social media channels.

Can Dulux Academy support someone looking to gain more qualifications?

Yes, we offer our own exclusive City & Guilds Level 3 Qualification in Colour, Design & Professional Decorating. This is achieved following completion of selected courses and then two assessments including a robust workmanship assessment. This qualification is aimed at experienced painters and decorators already working in the industry and will see them develop their skills and knowledge. It's split into two units the first on proposing beautiful spaces using colour and design to meet customer requirements and the second decorating beautiful spaces to professional quality standards. To achieve the qualification both units must be achieved however, unit accreditation is also available. Other qualifications we offer are First Aid, IPAF and PASMA.

You've recently celebrated the first anniversary of the Dulux Academy, are there any achievements from this first year you're particularly proud of?

It's been a great first year with many proud moments. As a team we have been internally recognised for our hard work by AkzoNobel which was great and within the industry we won the British Coating Federation's (BCF) 'Excellence in Training Award'. However, for me I am most proud when I read a post on social media from someone who attended a course and is proud to shout about it - that means I know we are making a difference to individuals and the industry.

How do you see the Dulux Academy developing going forward?

Dulux Academy has an ambitious growth plan and we aim to train 10,000 individuals by 2020. To do this we need to onboard more colleges across the UK so we can provide training nearer to where decorators are and also look to open more of our own facilities. I'm proud to announce that our second Dulux Academy will be launch later this year at our new Ashington manufacturing unit in the North East of the Country.

For more information on the Dulux Academy, visit the website now