Some 30 students on fine furniture-making, carpentry and joinery courses at London’s Building Crafts College, all student members of the Institute of Carpenters’ (IoC) London ‘City Hub’, took up the opportunity to visit the Borehamwood depot of timber merchants Arnold Laver, on May 16. The visit, facilitated by the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), is part of on-going co-operation between the TTF and the IoC, helping new entrants to the timber sector from across the supply chain to understand the diversity of timber-based and wood products now available.

The IoC is rolling out it programme of ‘City Hubs’ across the UK during 2019-20, starting with colleges in London, on Tyneside and in Lancashire. The Hubs link student members of the Institute with currently practicing and retired IoC members, who can act as mentors to those beginning to develop their careers. The Hubs also encompass potential employers and representatives from six timber sector bodies including the TTF, all with an active interest in skills and wood industry careers.

The visit was kindly hosted by TTF member, national timber merchant Arnold Laver, which has been a staunch supporter of moves to promote careers with wood over many years.

“It was a pleasure to see the enthusiasm and interest shown by the students,” said managing director Patrick Guest. “It behoves us all to do what we can to create bridges and share knowledge throughout the supply chain, and to promote careers using our sustainable, renewable material,” he added.

“Our students learn wood science as part of their training. Seeing the sheer variety of timber-based and wood products now available enables them to envision creative new futures for themselves and for their customers,” said IoC member, London City Hub organiser and Building Crafts College tutor Andy Mayes.

“We are pleased to play a role in connecting and educating the supply chain for timber,” added Nick Boulton, TTF technical and trade director. “We are in a knowledge business, and it’s vitally important to pass that knowledge on to the next generation, whether they be future timber merchants, carpenters, joiners or furniture makers.”