STA Launches New Skills Hub And Installer Training Scheme

In a move that will significantly improve access to high-quality timber skills training, the Structural Timber Association (STA) has launched an online Skills Hub incorporating its new STA Installer Training Scheme (ITS).

The STA has a long history of providing skills training and the new hub aptly coincides with the Government’s Timber in Construction Policy Roadmap having identified skills as a barrier to the increased use of structural timber in construction. The new Skills Hub and Installer Training Scheme will play a vital role in providing the industry with a highly-skilled workforce that is well-equipped to deliver the policy roadmap’s aspirations.

The Installer Training Scheme replaces the previous Timber Frame Competency Award Scheme (TFCAS) and has been redeveloped and redesigned to provide sector-specific learning support for the installation of structural timber systems, aimed at ensuring both existing and new installers have the required knowledge and understanding to undertake the installation of structural timber buildings to the highest standards.

The development of the ITS focused on five key outcomes:

  • Accessibility – an online learning solution with a single point of entry, providing anytime/anywhere access
  • Simplification – easy to follow categories and simple process from registration through to certification.
  • Consistency – a single approach to functionality across all STA training schemes.
  • Affordability – a training scheme that is cost neutral to STA members and their learners.
  • Credibility – supported by appropriate technology supports STA Assure – quality scheme assurance.

The scheme, which was created in conjunction with our members as industry experts, provides individuals with access to an essential learning toolkit, structured around online learning, focusing on the key elements required when installing structural timber systems. This includes health and safety, installation of structural timber systems, roofs, and cavity barriers plus other general construction considerations. Each installer is required to successfully complete an invigilated examination, based on the key elements featured within the programme of learning.

The Skills Hub has been created to provide STA members and the structural timber community and the wider construction industry with the latest information and guidance on sector specific skills, training, and education.

The online hub focuses on the following key areas:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Qualification availability
  • Sector related training
  • Funding opportunities
  • Industry Careers

The Skills Hub will provide a useful platform for the STA to continue to provide the right information and guidance on the latest developments within skills and training, and shows commitment to progressing and meeting the objectives of the Timber in Construction Roadmap.

Tony Batchelor, Skills Manager at the STA, said: “The STA Installer Training Scheme and the online Skills Hub is a result of the STA continuous improvement programme. It follows the recognition that there is an industry requirement for relevant, current information and guidance for members and the wider industry. We believe that by introducing the Skills Hub, various elements of the supply chain building using structural timber systems, will find it simpler to attain the knowledge and guidance to build to best standards. And this is just the start, as further training schemes are planned for introduction in 2024 for both structural timber design and manufacturing, further underpinning the STA’s commitment to ensuring best practice and high standards, along with developing and enhancing the Skills Hub user experience.

“We are fully on board with Priority Theme 3 outlined in the Timber in Construction Policy Roadmap identifying that some barriers to the increased use of structural timber in construction related to skills shortages in the industry, and we are confident that the Skills Hub and Installer Training Scheme will support the industry in overcoming those barriers.”

Visit the STA Skills Hub here: www.structuraltimber.co.uk/skills-hub

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