Timber Development has unveiled a comprehensive Timber Skills Action plan in partnership with the HCI Skills Gateway, aimed at equipping the UK construction industry with the necessary skills to increase the use of timber and achieve net-zero targets.
With the construction industry responsible for almost 40% of global emissions, and half of all materials extracted from the environment, experts have identified the use of timber as a key solution to significantly reduce carbon emissions. Engineered products like Cross-Laminated Timber can capture and store carbon in the built environment, resulting in a net benefit of 754CO2/m2 reduction compared to other forms of construction.
The Timber Skills Action plan provides an industry-agreed breakdown of the skills and knowledge required for building with timber. This will aid the development of training programmes and support Continuing Professional Development (CPD) progression, enabling built environment professionals to confidently incorporate timber into building designs.
David Hopkins, Chief Executive of Timber Development UK, said: “Our ambition is to support every built environment professional to identify and address timber skills and knowledge gaps so the industry can make the best use of timber in construction.
“The construction industry faces a steep climb to achieve net zero targets as one of the worst-performing industries. Timber provides a ready-made solution that doesn’t rely on greenwashing, speculative innovations, or progress in other industries to deliver genuine carbon savings in the short and medium term. We now need the construction sector and government to hear this call to action.”
To address the skills gap, Timber Development UK has built a coalition across industry, academia, and funders, creating the competency framework at the heart of the plan. The framework already underpins a set of short, practical courses developed by NMITE’s Centre for Advanced Timber Technology (CATT) in partnership with TDUK. The Timber TED (Technical Engineering & Design) courses provide comprehensive and flexible training for modern timber construction methods, enabling professionals to upskill and reskill in this critical area.
Kirsty Connell-Skinner, Programme Manager at the HCI Skills Gateway, said: “This plan, led by HCI Skills Gateway using Scotland’s best practice, is an important step in the development of the UK-wide timber construction trade, as it allows us to set a national mission for the industry.
“The four UK nations have achieved different standards and progress within the sector, but this action plan has been built on the best practice, learning and thorough research by a strong group of partners, and serves as a collaborative way of moving forward.”
Timber is lightweight, easily workable, and can be processed efficiently using modern methods of construction, reducing waste and improving productivity. This provides solutions for affordable, energy-efficient housing, national retrofit targets, and net-zero public sector buildings. With the launch of the Timber Skills Action plan, the UK construction industry can take a significant step towards achieving its net-zero targets and reducing its impact on the environment.
For further information, please visit Timber Development UK.
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