At OFP, we understand and recognise that any business has an impact on the environment, and like everyone, we want to do our part to not only be sustainable and environmentally friendly but also work closely with our local communities to have a positive impact on the businesses and people around us. 

Last year, we shared our ESG commitments, and this is something we continually have at the forefront of our minds with everything we do. This year, we were proud to sponsor Margate Football Club, we held a charity golf day at North Foreland Golf Club in Broadstairs, and most recently, we are thrilled to announce our new collaboration with Broadstairs College, part of East Kent College Group.

Helping to deliver T-Levels 

OFP are committed to helping the next generation to learn and grow, so after many discussions and planning with Broadstairs College, we are looking forward to working closely with them to help deliver T-Levels in Management.

According to, T-Levels were launched in September 2020, and they are new 2-year courses which are taken after GCSEs and are broadly equivalent in size to 3 A-Levels. These courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and education providers so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for entry into skilled employment, an apprenticeship or related technical study through further or higher education.

Our Partnership with Broadstairs College

This partnership between OFP and Broadstairs College offers an incredible opportunity for students to gain invaluable knowledge of working in a dynamic workplace and helps guide them through their education by offering the power of real hands-on learning. 

Speaking about the partnership, Natalie Stone and Karen Wilks share:

“We are delighted to be working with OFP Timber Frame who are offering exceptional T Level placement opportunities for our T Level in Management students. Richard has placed our 5 students in areas of the business that they are most suited to. The OFP team have been very nurturing and supportive of these young people”.

– Karen Wilks, Broadstairs College

“Broadstairs College would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to Richard Pankhurst and all the staff at OFP Timber for allowing our students to gain valuable industry experience in the world of business. Without local employers’ support such as OFP Timber Frame, we wouldn’t be able to help our future generation be prepared for the world of work.

Real work environments offer our students the opportunity to gain practical skills and knowledge in their chosen careers, helping them to build a competitive cv”.

– Natalie Stone, Broadstairs College

Last month, the day finally arrived, and OFP were very excited to host 5 students. Here is what they got up to in the first few days of their work placements:

Work Placements DAY 1: Monday, 09/10/23, 08:00:

Our first students, Sid and Evie, arrive at 8 a.m. Sid will be working closely with our Senior Estimator, Rhys, and Evie will be working within our production team alongside Ian, our Truss Production Supervisor, Dan, our Logistics Manager and Terence, our Production Administrator. They both start the day like any other new team member, with a full induction, including health and safety procedures and what is expected of all our team. After this, both Evie and Sid went to work with their respective departments.

Sid’s first day was spent understanding what an estimator does and learning about our systems. Speaking about his first day, Sid says, “My experience so far is that of a very welcoming and competent team always willing to help you even if you ask 3 times.”

Evie’s first day was spent looking at our timesheet process with Terence and starting to learn how they are processed, ready for payroll. After this, Evie was involved in a meeting discussing non-conformity issues from the saw and how this was possibly linked to training.

Work Placements Day 2:  Tuesday, 10/10/2023, 08:00:

We were joined by Morgan. Like Sid and Evie, Morgan started with our company induction before joining the design team. Here, he learnt about project management, company quality control and getting an introduction to designing. 

Speaking about his experience so far, Morgan says, “It has been going great. I have learned how to manoeuvre around the numerous files OFP has, and I have learnt to cross-check the architect drawing with the Timber Frame drawings to make sure everything matches.”

Work Placements Day 3: Thursday, 12/10/2023, 08:00:

Our final 2 students, Harvey and Molly, joined us. Harvey, who would be working with our Contracts Department and Molly, who would be working with Richard Pankhurst, looking at Human Resources, Health and Safety and Compliance.

Harvey’s first day was spent with James Bond, looking at our various processes and what the contracts team do on a daily basis. Molly spent the first half of the day in a health and safety audit. After this, she was involved in a HR meeting before finally getting to learn about systems. Molly says, “My first day at OFP was very interesting and informative.”

Our Commitment to Our Community

The team at OFP equally enjoyed their first week of work placements with the students. It is wonderful to be able to share knowledge and have an impact on students learning and development as they take the next step in their education. Being involved in preparing students to enter the workforce is such a privilege, and we cannot wait to see them grow and develop.  

We will be sharing another update shortly on how the students are getting on.


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