Cliff Thrumble, managing director of Boyland Windows, has been appointed the new president of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF).
Mr Thrumble built his career at Boyland Joinery over 20 years, starting as a labourer before completing an apprenticeship as a bench joiner and working his way up through the company via design, estimating and surveying before becoming commercial director and then managing director at 35. He has also managed the Timber Window Accreditation Scheme and is an active member of the Wood Window Alliance.
He takes on the BWF presidency after three years of leadership by David Pattenden, managing director of Specialist Joinery (South).
Mr Thrumble said: “I owe a debt of gratitude to Mr Pattenden who steps down as president having led the BWF through its most successful years yet. The BWF is now in excellent shape, with more than 700 members, subscriptions increasing, a clear strategy and a powerful voice with policy makers.
“My most urgent priority in my time as president will be about helping to tackle the ongoing skills crisis, both in terms of increasing awareness of joinery as a secure and rewarding trade to bright school children and career changers, and increasing the commitment to training given to joiners, machinist and installers. This is a critical part of the BWF’s action plan for the success of the industry.
“It is also very much about ensuring the BWF talks to the wider industry, and our members talk to us. We have a strong trade body, but we need to do more to grow membership and engage as many as possible in our work. This means meeting the needs of all members and adding their voice to ours. A key part of my role will be in helping the BWF team to keep our feet on the ground while we look to the horizon.”
The appointment of the BWF’s new president took place at the AGM and annual Members’ Day, which attracted 150 representatives from joinery manufacturing businesses across the country. Delegates attended a wide range of expert workshops on business risk, smarter production processes, the growing use of wood in interiors, maintaining certifications, tackling poor installations, and how to avoid the three big health and safety fines.
Suzannah Nichol, chief executive of Build UK, gave an update on the progress being made on resolving fair payment and other fundamental supply chain issues. Bill Esterson MP, the shadow business secretary, and Professor Noble Francis, economic director of the Construction Products Association, also led an energetic discussion on the implications of Brexit.