The UK Timber Frame Association (UKTFA) has been awarded a Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Growth Recognition Award, for the work carried out to improve business skills and knowledge within the erector community.
The training, run in association with CITB, involves fifteen UKTFA erector members. It is designed to prepare businesses for an upturn in the country’s economic outlook, ensuring they are in the best position to capitalise on increased demand for their services.
The new initiative follows a skills gap analysis carried out in 2012, which revealed a shortage of skills among timber frame erectors, which could potentially leave them at a disadvantage when the economy’s performance improves. As a result, the programme focuses on improving erector members’ current knowledge in a wide range of areas, from leadership, strategy and management of employees, to business planning, marketing and sales. It has been designed to share best practice amongst its participants, with a series of workshops scheduled to take place during 2013.
It is hoped that the lessons learnt can then be communicated and disseminated to other erector member companies, as well as manufacturing members.
Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of the UKTFA, said, “Construction is one of the key routes through which the country can be delivered from the current cycle of recession and sluggish economic growth. It is therefore crucial that we equip our members with the appropriate business skills with which to benefit from an upturn in the country’s economic fortunes.
“Our aim is to make erector members ‘better businesses’, by ensuring they are able to better service manufacturer members, spotting potential opportunities and growing their business. Although the programme is still in its infancy, the results are already starting to show, as some members have put formal business plans in place for the first time, with a view to increasing sales and taking on new members of staff.“
Gerard Lockey, UKTFA board member and director of Regal Carpentry, said, “The work we are doing with Construction Skills can only be seen as a positive step for our industry, as better training will result in a better qualified workforce. Not only does this give clients the peace of mind that only trained and competent personnel are operating on their sites, but is also incorporates ideals and concepts, such as quality assurance and up-skilling, which the UKTFA has been committed to for many years.”