Trussed rafter industry sets out new initiatives to tackle skills shortages
A new generation of higher skilled trussed rafter designers and fabricators will increase homebuilding standards and protect the construction industry from poor quality products and installations, the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) has said.
At its annual general meeting this month, the TRA announced that its online training facility, developed in conjunction with Edinburgh Napier University, will be offered free to TRA members for candidates who complete their training within next three months, a saving of up to £300 per candidate.
The Essentials and Advanced course elements of the TRA’s course together provide about 40 hours of learning, or the Essentials course can be done as a standalone module for new recruits in the roofing industry.
The course has attracted more than 40 candidates over the last two years.
The joint TRA/Napier University certificate that comes from successful completion of the training is recognised as a Scottish NVQ. It is a vital addition to qualifications in the sector, as many colleges are no longer running the standard framework qualifications.
To help reinforce the opportunities arising from professional development, the year’s highest scoring learners in the course received a surprise award at the AGM – a trip to Vida Wood’s Borgstena sawmill in Sweden, presented by Richard Thick, MD of Vida Wood UK.
Andrew Mitchell is a design technician with 15 years’ experience in construction. John Collins is a senior designer with more than 20 years’ experience. Both were delighted by the prize and praised the TRA’s online training for the additional expertise it offers, even to professionals who have been in the engineered timber industry for many years.
John Collins said: “Many of us have lots of design experience and have received plenty of software systems training, but this online training from the TRA is uniquely designed to support our careers. It really consolidated my knowledge. It brought it everything together, made it more relevant.
“I’d recommend the training to all other designers and fabricators. My only tip to learners though is to get stuck in early into the technical background research on Eurocodes and British standards. This knowledge is essential to be a true professional in this industry today.”
The two prize winners work at Donaldson Timber Engineering.
Its managing director, Jonathan Fellingham, said: “John and Andrew have consistently shown their commitment to professional development, and we’re extremely proud to have them in our team. The TRA training is something we support wholeheartedly, as an essential way to increase the skills in our industry.”
The TRA represents over 65% of the trussed rafter and metal web joist industry in the UK and Ireland. Members include the principal manufacturers of trussed rafters, metal web joists, suppliers and professionals involved in roof and floor design and construction.