Spotlight on training: future-proofing the industry

As a sector it’s essential for us to consider how we can inspire students into a career in woodworking and joinery manufacturing and support the continued professional development of the talented individuals already within our profession. This crucial work plays a vital role in driving the sector’s post-COVID-19 recovery and supporting the UK’s Net Zero carbon emission targets through an ongoing focus on sustainable construction. National Apprenticeship week took place in early February and saw the industry come together to showcase how apprenticeships can often be the ideal way to kick-start a career, offering structured training while also getting hands-on work experience in a controlled environment.


Reviewing apprenticeship standards
It is understood that not all individuals like to learn in the same way, and sometimes, the traditional routes of Sixth Form or University might not be for everyone, but this does not have to mean the opportunities to learn and develop must end there. When new people do join our sector through apprenticeships, it’s vital to continue to consider how programmes are delivered, and what the apprenticeship standards must contain, to ensure that they align with the existing and emerging demands of the industry today. The woodworking and joinery manufacturing sector is far more technologically advanced in terms of design and manufacturing processes than it was 10 or 20 years ago, meaning apprenticeship standards must be consistently reviewed to ensure they remain relevant to industry needs.

Maintaining focus on continued professional development (CPD)
To address this challenge, the BWF continues to work collaboratively with our members, education partners and other stakeholders to maintain and develop apprenticeship standards so that they remain fit-for-purpose. This approach helps address new demands on skills and training to produce apprentices that are work ready and have the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to effectively progress on their chosen career path. In addition to encouraging new talent, as an industry we need to maintain our focus on continued professional development (CPD) and upskilling our professionals, as ongoing training and development are fundamental to the growth of our sector. A positive example of the development of quality assured training provision is the recently launched fire door installation awareness course, developed in partnership with the National Open College Network (NOCN). This awareness course will help to upskill our members and the wider industry, while supporting Government aims to improve competency levels across the construction industry with regards to fire safety.


Throughout 2021, the BWF will continue to have a clear focus on career development for those within the profession, skills retention and attracting future talent, so that our sector continues to thrive and becomes a champion of continued professional development and best practice. For more information on the BWF, see

BWF – British Woodworking Federation
The Building Centre
26 Store Street
London, WC1E 7BT
0207 637 2646