Two prominent members of the London Hardwood Club have agreed a new training initiative due to begin in March next year.

TFT Woodexperts, of Ripon, and Tom Barnes, director of Wootton Bassett-based Vastern Timber, have agreed to use the latter’s premises just off the M4 near Swindon to hold the Level 4 Wood Science and Timber Technology Certificate Course.

“We have been reviewing our training and educational provision and, when I met Woodexperts on the Confederation of Timber Industries’ stand at Timber Expo, it seemed a good idea to work together on this,” said Mr Barnes.

“The purpose-built conference suite, situated within the main office building but well separated from the day-to-day operation of the business, should prove ideal for holding our training courses,” added Jim Coulson, TFT Woodexperts’ director.

He added that TFT Woodexperts had been looking for some time for a venue for clients in the south of England and the south-west. Vastern’s conference room is part of an oak-framed building of an intricate design which also acts as a good showcase for timber.

“We are looking forward to welcoming delegates from all parts of the timber industry to study there,” said Mr Coulson. “We are pleased and excited about the opportunity to use this new venue and hope this will encourage more southern-based students to come forward.”

The new course at Wootton Bassett starts in March. A second venue in Central London has also been identified, and a further course is starting in Ripon in early January, for which places are still available. Venues in Scotland and Lincolnshire are also possible, by arrangement.

TTF Skills Development programme

Meanwhile, the TTF Skills Development Programme 2017-18 was due to kick off with two seminars at the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in London on Dec 11 and Dec 12, with further sessions to continue before Christmas and in January and February.

The workshops comprise a morning session and an afternoon session and are free to all TTF members. All workshops are CPD accredited, apart from the Preservative Treated Timber session which is undergoing CPD accreditation. This means each seminar should be worth two CPD points and all participants would receive a CPD certificate on completion.

Workshops cover EUTR Compliance, Construction Products Regulation, Plywood and Treated Timber.

Travis Perkins F1 Training Day

Builders merchant chain Travis Perkins has also been making strides on its training, recently taking over the Silverstone F1 pits to train its apprentices. In a three-day Apprenticeships Skills to Service Challenge, more than 135 of Travis Perkins’ 230 apprentices used the F1 pits at Silverstone, the home of the British F1 and MotoGP Grands Prix, to complete a series of practical business simulations.

The simulations, run in conjunction with the Builders Merchants Federation, saw apprentices tested on technical knowledge, customer handling ability and sales skills using mock Travis Perkins branches and technical building environments set up in the pits.

Assuming the role of tradespeople, the apprentices used the branches and technical areas to source all the materials needed to complete tasks set by mock customers.