Cross-skill education tailored to industry by TAFE NSW
Team members of Sydney-based Traditional Restoration Company
If you have ever visited the Queen Victoria Building or St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney then you would have seen the stunning woodwork and paneling of these iconic structures. The art of ensuring the wood is traditionally French polished and restored is a specialised trade and one that is in high demand.
Traditional Restoration Company is one of Sydney’s leading French polishing and stone masonry companies, which has grown from a two-man operation to employing over 60 staff, is currently cross skilling its employees with tailored training delivered by TAFE NSW Lidcombe.
Employing a range of tradesmen including stonemasons, welders, painters, carpenters and joiners, Traditional Restoration Company’s Managing Director James Ginter saw an opportunity to provide his employees with a Statement of Attainment in an Introduction to Furniture Finishing and some additional skills.
James Ginter said, “When I hire staff, I'm always looking for people who want to cross-skill. Very few people are doing French polishing because learning how to preserve carved timber work is a specialised skill.
“As a company we want to ensure that our employees have the best opportunities available to them which is why we approached TAFE NSW Lidcombe – we wanted a course designed to what we needed as a company. It’s also about creating a new generation that the skills can be passed down to.”
Traditional Restorations Company encourages learning and funds training for its employees. All it asks of its employees is that they give 100 per to both their job and the training. “We want people to work in our business who are gifted with their hands and people who can provide intellectual horse power for the industry which is why we have a training program in place.”
For James and his staff, attending classes at TAFE NSW Lidcombe does not even feel like being in a classroom. “Our teacher Terry is very personable, he feels like part of the Traditional Restorations Company family. We order pizza during the break and we chat and share stories. Terry has a wealth of knowledge and experience and it is great learning from him.
“What’s also really nice about TAFE NSW Lidcombe is that it has all the equipment, such as drying rooms which allow for the speedy application of multiple layers of finishes that would ordinarily take days to dry. There are spray booths and an ample supply of materials and pigments which allows the students to make the mistakes they must make if they are to learn, which means engaging in a certain amount of healthy experimentation.
“You need the right facilities and the right materials in order to learn. Without places like TAFE NSW there is no hope in continuing to teach people in specialised skills such as these.”
Traditional Restoration Company’s projects range from Commonwealth and State government building preservation through to antique furniture and architectural detailing. The Furniture Finishing section at TAFE NSW Lidcombe is a purpose built centre of excellence. The workshops are fully equipped with state of the art built spray booths and drying rooms.
The Allied Timber Trades section offers Certificate III courses and can design customised courses to suit the needs of Industry in the areas of:
• Furniture Finishing (French Polishing)
• Cabinet Making (Kitchens and Bathrooms)
• Flooring Technology
• Timber and composites machining (Wood Machining).
Learn more about customised TAFE NSW training here or phone 1300 045 737.