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About Us

Didac is a Specialist Work Based Learning Provider established 1997. Didac became an approved Modern Apprenticeship Training provider with the exceptional status of Lead TEC (Somerset) for the provision of Government Training. In 2001, the Learning and Skills Councils was established and approved Didac as a provider of Modern Apprenticeships and NVQ programmes.

In July 2003, Didac was inspected by the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI) with an overall grade 2. Didac were commended with the results and were recognised by ALI as on of the best training providers in the country.

Didac is a recognised innovator in the woodworking industry. In consultation with industry stakeholders including trade associations and the Health and Safety Executive, Didac has developed training and assessment materials to improve woodworking machinery operator competence, which is being launched under the Woodwise banner.

Didac regularly submits itself to peer review as part of its development plan. It also works alongside a range of nationally recognised organisations including:

  1. British Woodworking Federation
  2. Health & Safety Executive
  3. Woodworking Machinery Suppliers Association
  4. City and Guilds; and
  5. Construction Industry Training Board

In one way or another, all five organisations are clients.

Jon Gibson, Managing Director of Didac, became one of the youngest Wood Machining lecturers in the country when he joined Brunel College of Arts & Technology, Bristol just two years after completing his apprenticeship. In 1995 he become an independent trainer / assessor in the South West specialising in CNC Machinery, Classical Machinery and Sawmilling Equipment, Health & Safety, and CAD.

In 1998 he was invited to partner Rye Machinery in their CNC training initiative, which culminated in the formation of Didac Limited in 1997. In 2000 he had the opportunity to acquire the business outright in partnership with Martin James one of the founding Directors and Colin Jones, his former head of department at Brunel.

Around one in seven machinery accidents involve a woodworking machine. A study carried out by the Health & Safety Executive’s Woodworking National Interest Group revealed the following information concerning accidents at woodworking machines:-

More than 50% occurred in small premises (28% with between 1 - 10 employees and 23% with 11-25 employees).

The machines most implicated in accidents were circular saws (35%), planing machines (20%) and vertical spindle moulders (14%).

Of those injured at woodworking machines 57% had received only 'on-the-job' training with no formalised instruction, 24% had completed one of the approved courses for under 18 year olds and 6% had served a craft apprenticeship. There is therefore a need to ensure the proper training of operators and that safe working methods are put into practice.

Inadequate supervision was cited in a significant number of instances.

There did not appear to be a disproportionate number of accidents in any particular age group. The use of woodworking machinery is covered by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. There is also an Approved Code of Practice, "Safe Use of Woodworking Machinery. Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, as applied to woodworking machinery." It gives practical advice on the safe use of woodworking machinery and covers the provision of information and training as well as aspects of guarding.