Over the past 10 year Proskills UK has played a key role in supporting employers from the materials, production and supply industries to develop employee skill levels and associated careers information.

In more recent years, in line with Government changes to the skills system, Proskills has transformed its operation into a totally self-funding sector skills organisation that continues to serve those people looking to enter or advance in their career.

To ensure that the Proskills UK Group is able to continue its skills and careers legacy, it has recently become a Registered Charity (no: 1155635) with the charitable aims to:
• promote, advance, and provide training and education for persons working in or intending to work in the materials, production and supply industries
• promote, advance, and provide training and education in health & safety

In addition, Proskills Group has announced that the following apprenticeships are now available for the first time for the Wood & Timber Industry in England and Wales.

Proskills has added Wood Products Manufacturing pathway to the Level 2 framework. It has also developed a Level 3 Framework which includes the Engineered Wood and Timber Merchanting pathways.

These qualifications were developed by the industry for the industry, says Proskills. The English frameworks will be available for funding from 22nd September 2014.

There are also new furniture industry qualifications and apprenticeships. The Proskills UK Group has worked with employers in the furniture industry including Silentnight, Senator International and Nathan Furniture to develop new Furniture and Wood Processing Qualifications for the industry.

Lisa Williamson, Standards and Qualification Manager at Proskills UK Group, says: "These cover both traditional wood machining and CNC machining as technician (Level 2) and advanced technician (Level 3) qualifications. They also lead into the new Higher Level Apprenticeship in Furniture Manufacturing Technician – Level 5, which has been developed in partnership with The Furniture Makers.