From education to employment

NPTC Group of Colleges Welcomes Timber Industry Experts

Carpentry and Joinery students from NPTC Group of Colleges were inspired by industry experts recently as the College hosted its first-ever The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Industry of Carpenters (IOC) Timber Industry College Hub Event.

The event, which included a series of talks and presentations followed by the opportunity to speak directly with employers and visit trade stands, aimed to showcase the various employment opportunities available from the UK and international timber supply chain to career paths in carpentry and joinery, shop fitting, restoration and design and manufacturing.

It was also a component of the IOC Mentoring Champions Scheme of which NPTC Group of College is one of only ten colleges involved across the UK.  The scheme pairs six students with three mentors, all industry specialists, who can share their wealth of experience and help guide future careers.  It’s all about helping young people be inspired by people in the industry.

Geoff Rhodes, IOC President explained:

‘’ The timber industry is a very wide, diverse international business and most people until they get close to it don’t really realise the depth and the scale that’s involved.

So, by bringing quite a tapestry of different people together, what we’ve tried to do is share some of that inspiring knowledge and make it interesting.’’

Speakers included Ross Baker and Peter Carey from CITB focusing on the employment landscape, Richard Hawkins from local business So Modular, Nick Boulton from the TDUK & Truss Rafter Association explaining the UK raw material supply, statistics and technical issues, sustainability, and the green agenda. Roly Ward from Medite SmartPly on MDF & OSB production & technical developments, and Neil Summers, Technical Consultant – American Hardwood Export Council.

The students heard about the life experiences of a career in the shop fitting and interiors industry as well as a presentation from Stephanie Evans from CADW concentrating on Conservation work and the Heritage sector.

The event kicked off with a welcome by Annie Davies, Head of the School of Construction and the Built Environment, and an introduction by Geoff Rhodes, IOC President.

Finishing off the event was past Neath College construction student, Wayne Probart, who is now Sales Development Director for Ante-Holz UK Ltd.

Wayne who was delighted to be back where he started his career said:

‘’I’m here today because I just believe in young, enthusiastic people who want to develop their career. I’ve got a passion for Neath College.  I was a student in Neath College, and I think it’s important that people who have developed a career in various parts should come and share their knowledge and help support the youngsters of the future.’’

The feedback from carpentry students was phenomenal Carpentry student Jamie Stokes said ‘’I thought today was a really good event. It opened my mind up to the future opportunities that can come from within the carpentry industry.’’

Fellow carpentry Student Jasmine Kerswell added:

‘’from my perspective, as a female going through a couple of years of College, it’s nice to see women in the industry and the different opportunities available, not just men, but for women as well.’’

It’s not too late to join us if you’re leaving school this summer or an adult wanting to upskill or change career and are interested in Carpentry and Joinery, please visit our website.

Construction Built Environment

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