Skilling up

Managing director of Balls2 Marketing Andy Ball talks about what the glazing industry can learn from other industries’ approach to skills.

There’s been no hiding from the industry’s skills gap this year; it’s high on the agenda for the entire construction industry and took the limelight on day three of the FIT Show.

That isn’t to say that there isn’t an existing pool of skilled construction workers. Being part of the Attraction Steering Group for the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), I understand the level of talent that is out there. But what I’m hearing time and time again, is that companies, especially installers, are taking on youngsters, training them up at their expenses, and then losing them after a couple of years as they head to bigger companies or set up on their own.

It’s a very similar situation for marketers. Finding people with the variety of skills that we need to run an agency isn’t always easy, especially since we have developed our team to create a full service offering for clients.

While there is natural progression, and people will always leave for pastures new, it’s so important to invest in and really value your team. It’s the only way to keep them as long as possible.

Investment in training is really important to us. Our PR team are all members of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and complete their CPDs annually. We are happy to pay for CIPR membership if they commit to completing CPD.

The rest of our team are active in their development too, completing online courses and making time to keep up with the latest updates in the marketing world. It’s one of the fastest-paced industries out there, so it’s essential that we all keep an eye on the ball.

As the industry is collaborating to improve skills initiatives on the installation side of things, I hope they are looking out for inspiration from other construction sectors and other industries too.