She takes over from Pauline Kelly who has chaired the forum since it was set up in 2006 as a BWF initiative to tackle the training crisis in the woodworking and joinery industry.

Ms Gorf, a director at Parker & Highland Joinery, leads the forum as it launches several new initiatives and expands its programmes to qualify the workforce, raise skills within industry, and bring new people into woodworking and joinery.

"When things get tough in the economy you can either choose to focus on the problems, or to seek solutions. I believe training can provide that solution and ensure that our industry’s workforce is as knowledgeable and competitive as it can possibly be. The WITForum will help us fulfil that goal," said Ms Gorf.

Next month the WITForum will launch a woodworking industry CPD programme, a first for the industry. It will be structured to allow everyone in the industry to participate, from apprentices to management.

Dave Campbell, who manages the WITForum, said embedding a culture of continuous learning in businesses and staff would create a more competitive UK joinery sector and raise standards.