BWF launches membership drive as it goes for growth

26 April 2016

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) is gearing up for a recruitment drive, with an ambitious target to attract 400 new firms and take its membership beyond 1,000.

Increasing membership is part of a wider scheme to grow the organisation, which includes restructuring its training services for the joinery manufacturing and woodworking industry.

To spearhead the initiative, Dave Campbell has been promoted to become the BWF’s new membership and training director, while Jon Gorf has also joined as a highly experienced technical consultant to bolster the BWF’s technical support to members.

The restructuring was triggered in part by the death earlier this year of Michael Lee, the BWF’s well known membership director, but also reflects the organisation’s ambitions to grow its influence as it increasingly engages with government and policy makers.

“To achieve the next level of growth and push on to that magic 1,000 members, we have to look at how the BWF evolves its services and training support, both physically and digitally,” said Iain McIlwee, the BWF’s chief executive. “This will involve a strategic review of the Woodworking Industry Training Forum (WIT Forum), the Toolkit business support services we provide to members and our membership engagement process.

“The market faces huge uncertainty in the coming months and potentially beyond. We need to be aware of the growing complexity of regionalisation and digitalisation. We also face radical changes in the way apprenticeships and training are funded and delivered, so the industry needs strong leadership at this time.

“In Dave we have an energetic and dedicated man who has shown his commitment to the BWF’s membership time and time again over the past seven years. Jon brings immense knowledge to our technical team. His recent experience at the coal-face, combined with his passion for the industry, is exactly what we need.”

Campbell added: “BWF members are honest, hard-working companies, up against it at times due to the constantly fluctuating regulatory environment and inadequacies in the supply chain. My role now is to ensure they receive the support and added value services they need to thrive. BWF membership is a fundamental business prerequisite for any growing business in this industry.”

Jon Gorf is the former managing director of Parker Joinery, and has more than 20 years of technical knowledge in all aspects of timber and its related products. He said: “My mission is to provide practical, specialist advice and guidance to other companies which are facing many of the same technical challenges around timber windows, doors, staircases and internal fittings as I have seen over my career in this industry. I will also be promoting health and safety and manufacturing advice to BWF members.”

The BWF currently has over 700 members drawn from manufacturers, distributors and installers of timber doors, windows, conservatories, staircases, all forms of interior and architectural joinery as well as suppliers to the industry.