UK Apprenticeship Week is running all this week, and one AV design and integration company doing its part in the often-neglected field of nurturing young AV talent is Focus 21 Visual Communications, which runs the Focus 21 apprenticeship scheme. The company is also celebrating ten years of holding Diamond Certified AV Solutions Provider accreditation from InfoComm International.
“Enrolling on the Focus 21 apprenticeship scheme was a great decision,” commented Focus 21 apprentice George Tilbry. “It enabled me to learn many different aspects of the audio visual industry. I was able to spend time in various departments which ultimately lead to chossing the correct position for me.”
Focus 21 has support Tilbry from when he left school through a three-year electrical installation college course in addition to many other widely recognised training courses.
“Focus 21 has helped me to develop both an in-depth technical knowledge and practical skills which are specific to audio visual,” he said.
John Chandler, HR and training manager at Focus 21, added: “Focus 21’s AV apprentice mentoring programme has proven to be a success on many levels, providing the business with keen, motivated, capable and hard-working young people who have grown up immersed in ‘modern technology,”
The ten-year milestone that Focus 21 has reached as an InfoComm International Diamond Certified AV Solutions Provider is in part thanks to the apprenticeship scheme. Half of Focus 21's technical sales, service and operational staff are counted as holding general or advanced InfoComm Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) certification.
“InfoComm recognises companies that voluntarily improve quality and professionalism through employee participation. We’re delighted that a growing number of companies, such as Focus 21, are educating staff and provide better service to their customers that comply with professional standards,” said David Labuskes (pictured right), CTS, RCDD, executive director and CEO, InfoComm International.
Jim Harwood (pictured left), CTS-D, managing director at Focus 21 said: “Our customers always ask what our accreditation is or what standard we work to. They expect systems to use the best technology and designed to be future proof.”
Focus 21 is using relevant criteria from the InfoComm Performance Verification Standard and checklist on an online cloud based system at various project sites and during commissioning and testing.
The Checklist was introduced by InfoComm International and is a member-developed resource with 162 criteria to determine if the AV system achieves the client’s objective and is performing in accordance with systems design.
“This type of checklist improves standards and ensures that they are constantly evolving,” said Chandler.