FWPA to help up­skill in­dus­try sup­ply chain through new on­line WoodSo­lu­tions Cam­pus

Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

FOL­LOW­ING A suc­cess­ful pilot pro­gram with in­dus­trylead­ing com­pa­nies, For­est and Wood Prod­ucts Aus­tralia (FWPA) is launch­ing WoodSo­lu­tions Cam­pus, a free, on­line ed­u­ca­tion and skills de­vel­op­ment plat­form, to in­crease the prod­uct knowl­edge of peo­ple in the wood and wood prod­ucts sup­ply chain. Sales op­por­tu­ni­ties in­crease when staff have up-to-the minute knowl­edge about the na­ture and per­for­mance of tim­ber and wood prod­ucts – es­pe­cially in the light of re­cent changes to the Na­tional Con­struc­tion Code (NCC). Th­ese skills can also lead to greater cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion and con­fi­dence in the range of op­tions and ex­pert ad­vice made avail­able. FWPA, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia’s Cen­tre for Sus­tain­able Ar­chi­tec­ture with Wood, has de­vel­oped WoodSo­lu­tions Cam­pus. It is the first free-ac­cess on­line ed­u­ca­tional plat­form that pro­vides peo­ple who work in Aus­tralia’s tim­ber and wood prod­ucts sup­ply chain with both the fun­da­men­tal and work-based knowl­edge they need to im­prove their skills. “This is an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity,” Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia’s As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Greg Nolan said. “For the first time, tim­ber pro­duc­ers and sup­pli­ers around Aus­tralia have ready ac­cess to re­sources de­signed to de­velop staff skill and con­fi­dence in how tim­ber and wood prod­ucts are made, used and per­form.” The site’s con­tent is de­signed to help staff choose or spec­ify the most ap­pro­pri­ate tim­ber or wood prod­uct for a range of ap­pli­ca­tions in build­ing. “The cour­ses are grounded in in­dus­try prac­tice and, where pos­si­ble, show op­er­a­tions in busi­nesses,” As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Nolan said. Five ven­dor-neu­tral WoodSo­lu­tions cour­ses are avail­able fo­cus­ing on key con­cepts and best prac­tices in tim­ber han­dling and de­sign. The cour­ses are: Course 1 - In­tro­duc­tion to Build­ing Reg­u­la­tions and Stan­dards Course 2 - De­sign for Dura­bil­ity Course 3 - De­sign for Bush­fire Course 4 - Man­ag­ing Tim­ber’s

Mois­ture Con­tent Course 5 - Tim­ber and Wood

Prop­er­ties Th­ese self-paced, on­line cour­ses cover stan­dards and build­ing reg­u­la­tions, and the prop­er­ties of tim­ber and wood prod­ucts, in­clud­ing dura­bil­ity rat­ings, mois­ture con­tent and re­sis­tance to fire. Fur­ther cour­ses will be added on an on­go­ing ba­sis. WoodSo­lu­tions Cam­pus users can also have their par­tic­i­pa­tion recog­nised as part of for­mal train­ing or ed­u­ca­tion. WoodSo­lu­tions has been work­ing with Reg­is­tered Train­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tions to map cur­rent and fu­ture ma­te­ri­als against train­ing units and cour­ses. “We be­lieve there are sig­nif­i­cant new op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­creas­ing tim­ber sales as a re­sult of the NCC change. WoodSo­lu­tions Cam­pus will en­able mer­chants to be wellinformed about the wood prod­ucts they should rec­om­mend and make the most of th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties,” said Eileen New­bury, FWPA’s Na­tional Mar­ket­ing and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ager. “An on­line plat­form makes learn­ing con­ve­nient and ac­ces­si­ble from any in­ter­net-ready de­vice,” she said. Each course is based on 6 or more video mod­ules. Each can typ­i­cally be com­pleted in 3 to 5 min­utes. Printable tech­ni­cal guides sup­port the videos and pro­vide ad­di­tional con­tent. Ac­com­pa­ny­ing as­sess­ments en­hance the self-paced learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Th­ese mea­sure the level of knowl­edge gained, and can re­sult in Starter, In­ter­me­di­ate and Ad­vanced Cer­tifi­cate be­ing awarded. Ad­di­tional re­sources are also avail­able for fur­ther learn­ing. “We are al­ready work­ing on a new course to ed­u­cate spec­i­fiers about the build­ing code change and make the most of the new op­por­tu­ni­ties for wood in medium rise multi-res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments,” Ms New­bury said. WoodSo­lu­tions Cam­pus is avail­able on-de­mand via www.cam­pus. woodso­lu­tions.com.au

As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Greg Nolan (cen­tre).

Eileen New­bury.

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