BWF Column: Looking ahead to 2022

As we enter into a new year full of promise and opportunity, I can’t help but look back at what was another very challenging year and how once again, our industry responded. Not only did we have to work through further lockdowns, we also had other factors influencing the market including supply chain challenges, the increase in the cost of materials, and labour shortages to name a few.

From carrying out a recent BWF membership survey, we know that these challenges remain at the forefront of our members’ minds as we move ahead into 2022, where we’ll continue to face these challenges head on.


Helen Hewitt – CEO of the BWF

I’ve seen first-hand the added pressure this is putting on our sector at a time when progress and development is vital. At the BWF, we’ll work alongside our members and industry partners to address these challenges while looking at new and innovative ways of raising the profile of the sector with government and relevant governmental departments.

The BWF will continue to promote our ‘6 Point Blue Print for Wood’ and our rigorous programme of meeting MPs to ensure the woodworking and timber sector is placed in a strong position with Government to address many of their own challenging targets, such as achieving net zero by 2050, if not sooner. We know that the Environment and Sustainability agenda is a key priority for individuals and businesses alike, and it’s imperative that we all understand the role we can play in meeting targets.

We’ll also continue to promote the benefits of wood as a sustainable building material and use our ‘Build it Better with Wood’ campaign to communicate why you should consider using wood – whether that’s timber windows and doors, staircases, home furnishings, or as a construction material where possible.

Discussions over fire safety and lifesaving critical products, such as fire doors, remain a high priority for government and our work in this area is high on the agenda, especially with the draft of the Building Safety Bill moving through Parliament. We’ve seen the new Code for Construction Products Information (CCPI) launched by the Construction Products Association, and are awaiting further details on how this will impact on our members and the products they manufacture and market.

Be Certain Be Certified campaign
In 2021, we launched our ‘Be Certain Be Certified’ awareness campaign, which aims to promote the importance of third-party certification and what to look for when procuring lifesaving critical products to a variety of key audiences. This campaign will continue throughout 2022, and the team are currently working on developing the next phase. Our work in the regulatory arena is constantly ongoing with the government looking to implement many changes in the built environment.

The BWF will respond and comment on consultations and amendments to regulations that will impact on the woodworking and joinery sector as well as representing the industry on technical committees. BWF Technical Director Kevin Underwood has been appointed as Vice Chair of the Construction Products Technical Committee as well as Chair of BSI Technical Committee for Stairs (B/208).

Developing the skills of our current and future workforce is one of our biggest priorities as an industry, and remains one of my personal goals as CEO of the BWF. We need to look at new ways to attract and develop talent and increase the competence levels in our sector, as well as tackling the skills gap we can see emerging.


Throughout 2021, we developed E-learning and face-to-face training courses, which are available to members and non-members in the sector. Since launching the first assured training course with the National College Open Network (NOCN), over 600 individuals have gained knowledge in the principles of Fire Door Installation and a further 195 have taken our new E-learning course in Fire Door Awareness.

2022 will see the development and launch of more online training courses across a variety of topics to help educate, inform and upskill those who are new to the industry or simply looking to broaden their knowledge.

The resilience and determination that our members have continued to demonstrate is a testament to the strength, agility and resolve of the woodworking and joinery profession.

Driving forward the focus on collaboration, skills and timber as a sustainable building material, the BWF will continue to be the sector’s voice and champion.

For further information on the BWF, see

BWF (British Woodworking Federation)
The Building Centre, 26 Store Street
0207 637 2646