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

Softwood flooring

Brooks Bros (UK) Limited

Blackwater Place
The Causeway

t: 01621 877400

Map | | Website

Champion, A W Limited

Champion House
205-9 Burlington Road
New Malden

t: 020 8949 1621

Map | | Website
Cross-laminated timber


2 The Canvas House
25 Queen Elizabeth Street

t: 020 3031 8070

Map | | Website