If we have learned anything from the last two years it is that some things are definitely worth waiting for: and this applies very much to training and education in the Latham Group, right across the board.

Liz Jones – our newly-appointed HR manager commented: “Apprentices, new hires and those who have achieved promotions are all looking to access more career development…” She went on to say that: “…when conducting appraisals and reviews earlier this year, a need to source more timber training was identified: and so we turned to our long-term training partner, TFT Woodexperts Ltd, to provide this, at three different levels of study”.

Lathams is now proud to announce that we have achieved a “first” for the Group: with no fewer than 21 students registering for all of the three levels of course on offer from Woodexperts. Eighteen people have taken on the new Level 2 Timber Studies Award, in two parallel groups at Leeds and Thurrock; whilst two others have undertaken the Level 4 Certificate in Wood Science and Timber Technology.

In addition – also a first for us – one student has started the Level 6 Diploma in Advanced Wood Science, which is a “Master’s level” Qualification involving up to two years of detailed background research and private study as well as various tutorials. Having so many people at once doing all of these qualifications is a record-breaking training and education initiative, which Lathams believes has never before been attempted by any other company in the UK timber sector.

We recently had some very useful feedback on the newly-formatted Level 2 Timber Studies Award qualification – the first time that this particular course has been offered to the trade. The students, who were from all three areas of our timber business (hardwoods, mouldings and panel products) described the course as being very informative and as in-depth as was appropriate for a Level 2 course.

They all said that the tutor – on this occasion Jim Coulson, Woodexperts’ director and principal consultant – was totally knowledgeable on all aspects of wood and timber. They also praised the level of current and up-to-date information that was provided for them. Others said they were looking forward to learning more about their own areas of involvement, such as panel products (which comes in a later part of the course); and also having more information about the whole “start to finish” processing of timber.

The next tutorial sessions of all three courses are due to take place this summer and we are pleased to be supporting our highly valued staff, in being able to study and to learn to appreciate the many benefits and uses of wood and wood-based products at these three different levels of academic achievement.