TRADA aims to cut the skills gap

28 March 2017

Nearly 50% of companies in the timber supply chain say their workforce lack the necessary technical skills, according to a new report from the Confederation of Timber Industries. And now TRADA is hoping to close this skills gap with its new suite of in-house training sessions.

In its report, Mapping the UK Timber Industry, the CTI says technical skills are seen as the biggest problem in the existing workforce, although a significant number of companies have issues with people management, IT, marketing, and health and safety skills.

Not only that, but there is a significant skills shortage, with 70% of responding companies reporting a lack of technical skills in the labour market. This figure, says the CTI, is simply too high and a clear issue with recruitment.

“Generally when we employ new staff at any level, their level of timber knowledge is not adequate for what we require because of the vast range of products that we distribute,” said one company, indicative of the types of responses reported.

Meanwhile, according to the CTI, almost a quarter of the companies that responded to the recent survey had been driven to look overseas for staff to fill roles due to a lack of skills in the UK.

TRADA is trying to arrest these issues with its latest training initiative. It has developed a comprehensive suite of in-house training sessions to up-skill the timber trade in 2017.

Training will be delivered by Technical Consultants from Exova BM TRADA, who will visit companies to deliver the sessions (to a minimum of six individuals).

Each course provides the most up-to-date technical training and information through a highly practical format, including quizzes and hands on experience with timber samples.

The new training initiative builds on TRADA’s association with several member companies delivering a wide range of courses that businesses have found to be both beneficial and profitable.

“Our goal is to convince timber companies that training needs to be properly planned and executed – and when it is, it can make a positive impact in the business providing good return on investment,” says Rupert Scott, TRADA’s membership and marketing manager.

• Courses are priced for a flat fee (not per delegate). For more information, ring 01494 569601.



Course topic


Key Content


Timber behaviour and properties

1 day

Biology of trees, wood properties, types, moisture and movement


Introduction to softwoods

½ day

Wood properties, grading, sizes, uses

Introduction to hardwoods

½ day

Wood properties, grading, sizes, uses










½ day

Longevity, good and bad details, fixing methods, key species, coatings and finishes.

Decking and garden products

½ day

Longevity, good and bad details, fixing methods, key species, coatings and finishes, slip resistance.


½ day

Different roof types, loading, insulation and condensation, loft conversions

Timbers for joinery and flooring

½ day

Species, appearance grades, movement, finishes

Timber frame introduction

½ day

Key materials, grades, sizes, performance, innovative products

Panel products

½ day

Types, uses, properties, grades

Engineered structural timber products

½ day

Types, uses, specification, National Structural Timber Specification

Timber certification

½ day

EUTR, Chain of custody, Illegal timbers, FSC, PEFC

Cupboard doors

Arnold Laver

Bramall Lane
South Yorkshire
S2 4RJ

t: 0114 223 0300

Map | | Website
Flooring OSB

Meyer Timber Limited

Stoke on Trent Head Office
Meyer House, Hadleigh Park, Grindley Lane
Blythe Bridge
Stoke on Trent
ST11 9LW

t: 0845 873 5000

Map | | Website

Caledonian Plywood Company

1 Cardowan Park
Tannochside Park
G71 5PF

t: 01698 811666

Map | | Website