Admittedly, trainees can sometimes be trouble.

For instance, I recall how I handled my first big story as a cub reporter on a regional evening paper. It was a building society robbery and I went to the scene, reporter’s mac flying in the wind, notepad at the ready. I got all the details and immediately phoned over the story to the office for the next edition. Unfortunately I was so excited, I didn’t wait to be put through to the copytaker, who transcribed phoned-over reports, and read the short stop-press bulletin breathlessly to the telephonist who didn’t get a chance to tell me my mistake before I hung up. Naturally, the story missed the deadline and the news editor was ready with his volley of abuse the moment I got back to the office.

That sort of glitch apart though, new recruits and youthful enthusiasm are the life blood of any company and any industry and it was in recognition of this that we launched the Trainee of the Year category in our TTJ Awards in 2003.

In recent years, the timber trade generally has been picking up the pace in training, both on an individual company level and as an industry via the Institute of Wood Science and the TTF, which recently launched its new Education and Training Committee.

Our trainee award aims to help raise the profile of training further and keep the momentum going. And judging by its hugely positive reception and the applause for the winner and runners-up at last year’s Awards ceremony, it is widely supported.

The hunt for the industry’s Trainee of the Year 2004 starts now. The entry form hs already been sent out with two editions of TTJ and it will be mailed again in the summer. In addition, if you click on the TTJ Trainee of the Year 2004 – Entry Form link in the Related Articles section below, you can find pdf and word file versions of the form to download or print.

We’re pleased to announce that the award is once more sponsored by SCA Timber Supply and we’re confident of getting a good crop of entrants. So please put forward your talented trainees. They could be the winner and so could the timber trade.