Trainee installer scheme launched

Nationwide Windows has launched an independent pilot programme to tackle the need for skilled operatives in the glazing industry.

Initially taking place in Nottingham, the scheme is expected to be rolled out nationally, helping to fill a long-recognised skills gap and providing valuable career opportunities.

The programme has been structured to provide people with a blended approach, including classroom education alongside both offsite and onsite training. The first batch started in June, comprising of two under 18-year-olds who recently left school. Four more trainees who had previous careers in other industries joined the programme in July.

Initially training as competent labourers partnered with existing installation teams and supported by the company’s training team, (learning and development manager Helen Owens, master fitter Simon Taylor, and GQA assessor and trainer Dave Naylor), those showing potential will have the option to progress further and become professional installers.

Simon Taylor, runner-up in the Master Fitter Challenge at FIT Show 2019, has been enlisted specially to provide expert guidance to all trainees, including those who show the aptitude to become professional installers, alongside Nationwide’s existing teams. This additional training will be fully funded by Nationwide, who will also be providing NVQ qualifications and other nationally recognised qualifications to demonstrate competence.

“Window installers are not recognised as a ‘trade’ in the same way as bricklayers, plumbers or electricians are,” Chris Costall, Nationwide’s compliance director said. “But this needs to change, and quickly, so that we can address a serious need for skilled installers in Britain.

“As a company, we have always been passionate about training and improving opportunities for our staff and communities. This programme has created a real buzz already and it’s great to see the candidates taking to the course with such enthusiasm.

“Not only are they getting the benefit of Simon’s vast installation expertise and Dave’s training and assessing knowledge, working with our teams on site is also giving them valuable boots-on-the-ground’ experience, ensuring our high-quality standards to clients is maintained.”