New timber NVQs launch at Ecobuild17 March 2012
The first three of the timber industry’s new National Vocational Qualifications will be unveiled by the Proskills Sector Skills Council at the Ecobuild show next week – and companies are being urged to take them up or risk losing them.
The level 2 NVQs are a Diploma in Merchant Supplies – Timber, which will cover handling stock, timber and panel product knowledge, timber calculations, sustainability and chain of custody, a Diploma in Sawmilling, with ‘pathways’ covering round and secondary timber and timber protection, and a Certificate in Tooling Technologies.
The qualifications have taken 18 months to complete, with Proskills –appointed timber sector skills council in 2010 – working with a Wood Industry Board (WIB) and Qualifications Reform Group drawn from across the timber sector.
“It’s been hard work, but we’re now really excited that the NVQs are complete and ready to use, with PIABC as the preferred awarding organisation,” said Proskills industry lead for the wood/timber sector Helen Hewitt. “We’re also very pleased we will be launching at Ecobuild. It’s a very appropriate venue, given the increasing demands made on the timber sector by construction for quality information and support from knowledgeable, competent, well trained people.”
She added that the Wood Protection Association was the first body to become an accredited training provider for the NVQs, focusing on the sawmilling and timber treatment qualifications.
The NVQs will be officially unveiled from 11.30am-12 noon on the stand of Howarth Timber, whose training and quality manager Peter Kelly is also chair of the WIB.
“We’re extremely excited about this launch,” he said. “It’s the first time the industry has worked together to achieve a fully competent workforce for the future.”
Ms Hewitt said that more NVQs were planned and another ‘aspiration’ was a new timber apprenticeship framework.
But she warned the industry that it must put employees through the qualifications.
“If not enough people take them up within five years or so, NVQs get dropped,” she said.