Find a member Members Area

Recruitment support for TRA members

8th March 2024

In February 2023, industry research conducted by Opinion Matters highlighted a critical need to attract more workers to join the construction sector. By 2027, an additional 224,900 skilled professionals will be required to meet the demands of the industry, translating to an average annual recruitment of 44,980 individuals.

Delving deeper into the trussed rafter industry, the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) conducted its own comprehensive State of the Industry survey in 2023. The survey aimed to gain insights from TRA members and understand their perspectives on the industry.

Timber Engineering Careers

As a trade association, the TRA recognises the importance of showcasing rewarding career paths in timber engineering. To achieve this, the TRA launched the ‘Careers in Timber Engineering’ campaign. The initiative focuses on promoting key roles, including design, estimating, manufacturing, sales, and management within businesses manufacturing trussed rafter roofs, metal web joists, and related products.

As part of the campaign, the TRA developed a ‘Careers in Timber Engineering’ toolkit specifically for TRA member companies seeking to recruit new talent. The toolkit equips TRA members with resources such as presentation materials for schools and colleges, videos, leaflets, and social media graphics to enhance their recruitment efforts.

The TRA’s State of the Industry survey revealed some critical insights. Firstly, 81% of respondents admitted that their companies currently do not employ apprentices. Additionally, only 12% of businesses have established working relationships with local schools or colleges to aid their recruitment efforts.

Designer Development Programme (DDP)

The State of the Industry survey also revealed that 42% of respondents admitted that their employees rarely undertake any form of CPD or training for their role. Addressing these challenges, the TRA introduced the Designer Development Programme (DDP). This professional scheme aims to empower trainee trussed rafter and metal web floor designers. By participating in the DDP, individuals can prove their knowledge, gain practical experience, and bridge the gap between theory and practice.

The DDP will comprise seven levels, each designed to enhance the skills and expertise of trainee designers. Participants progress through these levels by completing evidence books that showcase their experience in five roof design scenarios. Several designers from TRA member companies have completed their first level DDP training on trussed rafters and have advanced to the next level.

A programme for metal web joists is currently being completed with the first workbook focusing on metal web designs undergoing beta testing, with an anticipated release in summer 2024. This workbook will equip designers with specialised knowledge related to the design of metal web joists to expand and consolidate their skill set.

Each set of five evidence books typically takes around six months to a year to complete. Participants can progress at their own pace while gaining valuable insights and hands-on experience.

Importantly, the first few levels of the DDP are free for all TRA member companies with a fee for higher levels.

Find out more about the Designer Development Programme by clicking here.

Sign in to the members’ area and visit the Members Resource Library to access the Careers in Timber Engineering toolkit.

Back to News & Events
Trussed Rafter Association