Clearview South January 2014 - Issue 146 - Page 47

TIMBERNEWS UNITY AND CONSISTENCY ARE THE KEY TO GROWTH FOR TIMBER WINDOWS The Wood Window Alliance (WWA) and British Woodworking Federation (BWF) have announced a new merger in a drive to achieve further growth in the timber sector. Iain McIlwee, chief executive of the BWF, made the announcement at the recent BWF Annual Dinner. He says: “We’ve supported the Wood Window Alliance from the start and the campaign has done a fabulous job of promoting timber windows – leading the way within the industry. But, as the campaign has evolved, the benefits of integrating the promotional side with the wider services offered by the BWF have become increasingly clear. Together, we can provide a seamless offer, project our messages further, and offer better value to our members.” Sean Parnaby, chairman of the WWA, says: “I’m delighted to have led the WWA into the BWF on my watch as chairman. From a standing start some eight years ago, our influence and effectiveness have grown impressively. We’ve promoted timber windows based on demanding quality, performance and sustainability standards; we’ve undertaken ground-breaking research to support our marketing proposition; we’ve increased our value share of the market to around 25%. We have also grown our membership.” REAL INVESTMENT IN APPRENTICES WILL REAP REWARDS The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) is offering advice to employers of joinery and woodworking apprentices following recent increases to the National Minimum Wage. Employers are responsible for ensuring that a contract states whether or not an employee is an apprentice to avoid any challenges on salaries. A junior employee is automatically entitled to a higher wage than an apprentice but is not necessarily entitled to the same level of training. Dave Campbell, manager of the BWF’s training arm the Woodworking Industry Training Forum (WITForum), said: “Apprentices are an investment. Whilst daily housekeeping duties are a part of the job, the bulk of an apprentice’s time should be spent gaining and honing their specialist skills. This investment of time and resource, will nurture a well-rounded, motivated, competent and hardworking employee and valued member of your team who will support future growth in your business.” Dave advises managers to meet with apprentices regularly to keep up-to-date on how they are progressing with their course, and to identify if any areas of best practice being taught by training providers could be incorporated into the business. Communication between the employer and training provider is also key. Scooping all the top accolades at Awards The UK joinery industry’s highest awards were announced at the annual dinner of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) in London. Oakwrights Bath Ltd of Corsham, Wiltshire scooped both awards for technical excellence and innovation in joinery manufacture, and for the apprentice/trainee of the year – the first time that one company has won both awards together. The achievement was particularly notable given that this year the BWF received a record number of award entries in both categories. To read more, visit The BWF’s 2013 award for technical excellence and innovation in joinery manufacture was given to Oakwrights for its transformation of a building in central London into a spiritual centre for the SelfRealization Fellowship. The main technical challenge came from turning the vision of the Fellowship, the architect, Ray Hole Architects, and the client, Healthcare Development Services Ltd, into reality through two project phases over the course of 18 months. The vision was to undertake a refurbishment that would preserve the heritage of the building while enhancing the whole building decoratively. This involved transforming windows, doors and other internal features, and ensuring the modern 1970s extension linked to and echoed the original Victorian part of the building. JAN 2014 47