A timber merchant covering the South East has boosted its operations by offering new staff tailored courses – in wood science.
Alsford Timber previously sent new recruits to learn the ropes with a long-term supplier that manufactured its Premier, Standard and Contract PAR and moulding ranges.
But after a £1m investment, Alsford Timber was able to buy its own equipment to develop its ranges – alongside a detailed course for staff and apprentices.
A dozen new employees have now passed the scheme after the first course at Alsford Timber’s new training academy building in Erith, Kent.
Head of TRADA Technology’s Structural Investigations Section, Philip O’Leary said: ‘Over the past 80 years, BM TRADA has built up an un-rivalled knowledge of timber and supports the industry through a range of timber training courses.
‘We worked closely with Alsford Timber to develop a bespoke training programme for its employees, improving their knowledge and adding value to the overall business.’
Alsford Timber decided to develop their own course in partnership with BM TRADA following the changes in their supply arrangement. The primary benefit of this was that Alsford were able to tailor the course with an emphasis on wood science and timber technical knowledge in areas that would not have been covered beforehand.
The launch of the scheme comes after the firm added 11 new trucks to its fleet.
The course itself consisted of a full day’s introductory training followed by a short question paper to ensure participants were fully prepared for the main training course delivered over two full days a fortnight later. All candidates will either receive a Pass or Pass with Merit Certificate when this has been completed successfully and this requirement has now been included in all staff contracts of employment to ensure the Alsford strapline of being ‘The Timber Experts’ is maintained.
By developing a close working relationship with their training partners at BM TRADA, Alsford have been able to adapt the course and alter content to suit the business and this remains a work-in-progress and will continue to be updated to include new products and areas of future change.
The objective is to make sure that every member of staff from the Managing Director to Alsford’s valued apprentices, take part in the bespoke training course to ensure they can provide expert advice and product knowledge and to further underpin Alsford as The Timber Experts.