Record number of merchants are timber trained

1,698 merchant staff delegates trained since 2001

Published: 20/07/2009 00:00

Recent research into Finnforest’s Timber Training Academy has revealed that 90% of merchant staff delegates passing through the course recognised a gain in their confidence through improved timber knowledge.  The majority would also recommend the course to a colleague, with 85% seeing a positive impact on training.

The Timber Academy has trained 1,698 merchant staff delegates since 2001 with 71% (1,215) of those delegates qualifying as Finnforest Timber Trained. 98% of merchant managers sending their staff on the course reported an improvement in their staff’s ability.

The timber training course run by Finnforest is open to all levels of merchant customer staff, from the branch level to the boardroom. Delegates are asked to prepare in advance using the Timber Academy’s home learning tools, including a step by step workbook. Delegates must then pass a test paper to gain entry to the two day course.

Taking place at Finnforest’s custom built training facilities in Boston, Lincolnshire and Grangemouth near Edinburgh, the Timber Academy is run as a two day course.  This is split into manageable sections, covering: grading and identifying timber quality, the environmental aspects of timber production, timber products and applications, storage, grading and presentation, measurement and calculations, health and safety, and making the most of linked sales. The course is punctuated with regular breaks and there is an evening ‘team’ exercise to help delegates relax as they learn.

As part of the course delegates also visit Finnforest’s production facilities. The course culminates in a second written test to help build on the understanding gained throughout the two day course.

90% of Timber Academy delegates agree that the course has helped to improve their understanding of timber products and improve confidence levels when selling to customers, with over 80% of attendees saying that they use the information they learnt on the course everyday. 99% of those attending said they would recommend the course to a colleague.

Brian Cordell, Training Manager for Finnforest, said: “The course attendance, pass rate and positive feedback from delegates is testament to the success of the Timber Academy and its relevance to both the timber industry and the wider construction industry.

“Training forms one of the key elements of Finnforest’s supply chain, and is a tangible example of the way in which Finnforest adds value through the merchant channel. Knowledge of the timber products sold within a merchant’s operation undoubtedly increases one’s confidence and also goes on provide improving customer service levels.”