Carving out a future in carpentry

24 May 2022

A ‘city hub’ of industry experts in carpentry, joinery and woodworking skills gathered at the new Centre for Modern Construction at Bedford College on May 16.

The Institute of Carpenters (IOC) took up an invitation from IOC member college, The Bedford College Group’s training team to stage a partnership event with more than 60 students at the campus off Cauldwell Street, Bedford.

The IOC is a membership organisation, established in 1890 for wood trade professionals of all ages and attendees across campuses in Beds and Northants can apply for student membership.

The event was led by Geoff Rhodes, president of the IOC.

“We acknowledge and welcome the aim of the college group to nurture and train carpentry and joinery professionals to support our industry and we believe this experience added value to the student experience,” said Mr Rhodes.

Other experts at the event included representatives from the Construction Industry Training Board, the Structural Timber Association, MEDITE SMARTPLY, the Trussed Rafter Association, Timber Development UK, Historic England, Axminster Tools, Reisser Ltd, TMJ Interiors Ltd and Ironmongery Direct, among others.

“This was a prestigious event and valuable for our students, full-time, part-time and apprentices to understand the benefits of an organisation like the IOC in promoting understanding of the professionalism and importance of carpentry skills,” said Dean Gibson, head of construction, Bedford College campus. “These crafts cannot be replaced by machines and remain vital to the construction industry.”

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David Wilkins, director, construction and building services, Bedford College group (left) and Geoff Rhodes
More than 60 students attended the partnership event
The event included practical demonstrations