CTI Blog

CTI Blog - CTI Scholarship, nurturing a new generation of Architects

This blog is by Adrian Jabonero, architect and MSc Timber Industry Management student at Edinburgh Napier University

When I received the news that I had been awarded the CTI Scholarship to study MSc Timber Industry Management at Edinburgh Napier University, I thought I was very fortunate. Since the first moment, I was conscious that developing my profile studying at one of the most prominent universities on the Built Environment in the UK was a great opportunity. In addition, Edinburgh is a great place to live in.

From my perspective as an Architect, I am conscious of the increasing engagement in terms of environmental and social responsibility in the built environment. This must be encompassed with an efficient management and proper technical knowledge. The MSc Timber Industry Management course is focused on Construction Project Management, Sustainable Design and, of course, Timber Construction. The MSc in Timber Industry Management is unique as its curriculum joins up these key connected subjects allowing to develop the Sustainable Construction Industry for the future.

So far the Strategic Management module has given me the chance to get in touch with the Timber Industry’s reality. Studying the case studies of some featured companies and drafting a strategy for the forthcoming years is stimulating.

The Project Management module provides theoretical and technical base for future Project Managers in Construction, highlighting the development of critical thinking skills and the acquisition of managerial competencies.

The Sustainable Building Design module offers another approach to the industry. This module drafts a vision on environmental issues, involving social and economic aspects as well. It challenges the students with projects on sustainable housing and public buildings in disparate locations.

Thus the course and the city of Edinburgh are exceeding my expectations. ENU enjoys a vibrant student activity, promoting a hands-on approach in a new technologies focused atmosphere.

Moreover, the CTI scholarship supported by the TTF  is unique, giving me the chance to know from within the industry how featured companies work. It is our aim to provide regular updates on site visits through the CTI Blog.

Again, my sincere gratitude to CTI, TTF and ENU for such opportunity.

CTI Blog - Timber industry: investing in young people for a brighter future

This blog post is by Dirk Vennix, CTI Chief Executive

Some time ago I was roaming around a village book fair when I stumbled upon the biography of Dr Carl Horst Hahn, chairman emeritus of Volkswagen Group. ‘From apprentice to CEO: Carl Hahn 40 years in Volkswagen’ was an inspiring, motivational example of what you can achieve with clear targets in mind and solid support from your employer.

Building a career like Carl Hahn did, step by step, is a huge challenge. Every year thousands of youngsters in the UK start their careers as apprentices looking for an opportunity to learn, earn and grow. And many businesses in the timber supply chain already offer apprenticeship places. According to the Skill Funding Agency report (December 2014), more than 850,000 people have been involved in an apprenticeship in a range of business sectors from 2013 to 2014. Their work contributed £34 billion to the UK economy in 2014.

We are talking about investing in the future. A concept which the companies working across the timber supply chain implement on a daily basis. Think about it for a few minutes and you will discover that the career opportunities are immense. From Forestry to Shipping; from Manufacturing to Distributing; from Printing to Energy Production, the Timber Industry is an endless source of possibilities.  Currently, timber related apprenticeships feature saw mills, wood machinists, boat buildings, carpentry and joinery, administration, sales, flooring, marketing, manufacturing and many more.

That’s why the CTI strongly believes that Education and Skills development needs to match these opportunities to ensure that Timber leads the way in 21st Century Construction.  On the 23th of September the CTI network will meet to set up a specific workgroup on this subject involving a range of organisations and companies across the Timber Industry. Firstly we need to answer some questions: where are the skills shortages? Where will the supply come from? What is needed in terms of funding and infrastructure? How do we get the next generation to want a career in the timber sector? How do we get specifiers, designers and contractors to increase demand for their skills?

Secondly, we must realise that educational programmes are win-win scenarios. For example, thanks to the apprenticeships scheme, young people now have more opportunities to learn as they earn, gaining a recognised qualification and growing their careers. On the other hand, employers also benefit from training their future managers, instilling company values and gaining their loyalty whilst strengthening mutually beneficial relationships with colleges and getting helpful grants.

Last but not least, we shouldn’t forget the current economic situation. In these uncertain times it pays to train and be open to creative solutions. Businesses that invest in their workforce are more likely to flourish again and survive in the long-term. As Gerald Chertavian, Founder and CEO of Year Up said: “Investing in our young people is not just a matter of economic justice, it’s good business sense.”