New industry skills initiative

By GQA Qualifications

In November 2017, The Telegraph newspaper reported on the lack of skills and labour shortages within the construction industry. It provided information from a survey conducted by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors highlighting how the issue had gradually worsened over the last five years, limiting building activities.

The article went on to reference how two-thirds of those who responded to the survey believed the skills shortage had overtaken planning and regulations issues as a major concern and was now among the most significant problem facing their industry.

As a major part of the construction sector, the fenestration industry has also begun to feel the effects of insufficient skills and labour. With the increase in demand from government to produce more new homes, and glazing structures being specified as a favoured choice for commercial buildings, there is a need to address these major challenges.

GQA Qualifications, the fenestration and glazing industry awarding body, is backing a new industry campaign: Building Our Skills in the Fenestration Industry.

The initiative will be launched to the public – schools, colleges, teachers, parents and other relevant forums and campaign groups – from June 1 and will focus on: a much-needed and long overdue pro-active promotional campaign of the industry; the wide variety of different career paths available to new and young entrants; an awareness of the qualifications that can be achieved to give them learning; life-skills; and, ultimately, career opportunities and financial rewards.

Mick Clayton CEO of GQA Qualifications, the lead promoter of the campaign, said: “The quest to recognise and develop skills within the industry has been high on the agenda of GQA for a very long time. The industry is increasingly reporting the difficulties it has recruiting new young people. Our focus has turned to creating a campaign to address the problem directly.

“Working with Inside the Box Marketing, we have developed Building Our Skills in the Fenestration industry campaign, an initiative for the whole industry to join in and support, providing a platform to promote fenestration with a collective voice and accelerate the process of raising its profile to new entrants as a credible and exciting career choice.

“Our aim is to invite companies from all aspects of fenestration to pledge their support and promote the initiative, showcasing the opportunities available to newcomers – and career changers.

“A website and promotional material are in development to help launch the initiative and we are asking companies to become active supporters by: wearing the campaign badge on their marketing material; and providing interesting video footage, images or case studies of their workforce, installations or manufacturing plants to help us proactively promote the campaign to as wide of an audience as possible.

“Encouraging young and new people to join our industry is something we need to do to build a stronger future for fenestration, and it will be critical in ensuring long-term stability. Supporting Building Our Skills in the Fenestration Industry is the first step to achieving this by providing the awareness we need to ensure our industry thrives.”

Contact Stephanie Tague (07789 344479) or Chris Globe (07429 103925) at Inside The Box Marketing for more information.

“What we want to do is create an industry awareness campaign which everybody feels they can support without thinking they are promoting a competitor. This is about the whole industry and we will be encouraging as many companies as possible to get involved.”

Justin Ratcliffe, chief executive, CAB.

“We need to start attracting the very best young talent to our industry across every imaginable career path. Edgetech (UK) will offer its support to this initiative wherever we can.”

Charlotte Mercer, head of marketing, Edgetech (UK).

“We are delighted to support this really necessary campaign to attract new blood to our industry.”

Tristan Cooke, MD, Mila Window and Door Maintenance.

“I’ve always tried to share the great experiences I have benefitted from by being a part of the fenestration industry, and in doing so, I hope it will inspire others to join us.”

Alan Sadler, managing director, Profix.

“We need to make the fenestration industry the career path of choice for people at the outset of their working life.”

Sean Hayes, technical manager, GQA Qualifications.