GQA Qualifications, the industry’s only qualifications writing and awarding body, has launched an initiative to help attract new entrants to the fenestration industry.  ‘Building Our Skills’ is aimed at those leaving full-time education and those who are looking to change careers, and will take the form of an industry prospectus to highlight the amazing amount of choice the fenestration industry can offer to those looking to join it. It will demonstrate both career progression pathways and potential financial rewards for those coming on board.

GQA has been writing industry relevant qualifications for over 25 years. Working through over 70 approved learning centres and an increasing number of practical hands-on training facilities it has been raising levels of skills in the industry, promoting the initiative ‘Quality Through Qualifications’.

Speaking about their work, and the launch of ‘Building Our Skills,’ Chief Executive of GQA Qualifications Mick Clayton explained: “We have been promoting the importance of those employed in the fenestration industry having proper industry relevant qualifications to help them deliver better products and better service for those who buy the industry’s products for many years now.”

“Our aim has been to get employers in the industry to embrace the benefits of delivering quality, through qualifications, and the fact is that a significant core of the best-known names in the industry do just that.”

“I would safely say that the work-force currently employed in the industry is the most well qualified it has ever been, and that can only be a good thing. However, what has become more and more noticeable in recent years is that there is a lack of new people coming into the industry.  When you consider that the average age of the industry employee is the highest it has ever been, and that there are a number of external factors potentially impacting the availability of a labour pool it is clear we need to do something.”

“I know that there are many companies working individually to try and address this, and it something we have discussed many times without really finding the answer to the question, why do youngsters not see the fenestration industry as a career path of choice?”

“Through discussions with stakeholders at all levels of the industry, and across all elements of the supply chain we have therefore committed to developing and delivering a prospectus to try and attract more young people, and to make them aware of the amazing career and financial choices available to them in a truly vibrant sector.”

“We want to attract the best young talent to our industry across every imaginable career path.”

“We have commenced a process to get 50 employers to join the ‘Building Our Skills’ campaign to paint the industry as a genuinely attractive place for people to make a career.  We will continue to underpin this drive by promoting industry relevant qualifications and real practical training, and we are appealing to all those who share our belief that we can create an attraction strategy campaign to come and join us.”

“The campaign will largely be on-line and will be promoted extensively to the outside world by social media, word of mouth and by those already attending jobs fairs and working with the educational sector. ‘Building Our Skills’ is designed to promote the industry and the career choices within it, and is there to give those working so hard to bring new young talent into the industry an additional attraction strategy document to support their efforts.”

“What we want to do is to create an industry campaign which everybody feels they can promote without thinking that they are promoting a competitor. This is about the industry and we would encourage as many companies as possible to get involved.”

“Those who want to join in and play a part in supporting ‘Building Our Skills’ will simply be asked to supply a single piece of marketing collateral which helps to explain how and when they joined the industry and what path their career has taken.”

“In return we will ask them to promote the campaign badge wherever possible – on their websites, email footers, literature and on their FIT Show and other exhibition stands, wherever they can, but without this being a problem to them if there are corporate guidelines which cannot be overcome in certain circumstances.”

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

www.buildingourskills.co.uk www.gqaqualifications.com