For some time, there has been a recognition that there is a widening skills gap in the construction sector, and that this is now also biting directly into the Fenestration Industry.
Finding new installers particularly is already a problem, but there are clear signs of a shortage of people coming into the industry. Let’s be honest – do we think that young people and career changers are likely to choose the Fenestration Industry over other more popular choices? Will they even have heard of it?
As of today, the answer is arguably ‘no’ – but that’s not to say that our industry is not an attractive option – in fact the opposite. It is one that allows genuine career progression, personal and professional development, and the opportunity to achieve a good standard of living .
Building Our Skills (BOS), a ‘not for profit’ company, has been created as a campaigning vehicle for the whole industry to use to try to address some of these issues. It aims to provide a consistent message for businesses to use, a message that conveys to the outside world that our industry is here and is a great career choice.
BOS is underpinned by awarding body GQA Qualifications, which in turn is committed to the campaign’s messaging, and to making available practical training facilities, learning programmes and qualifications whether they be newcomers or not.
While we start the process of raising awareness to attract new entrants, we can do more to support the longevity of the industry by upskilling its existing work force as a way of bridging its skills gap.
A great start point for any business is to understand the talent it already has within it. This will lead to an understanding of the skills it has as a business against the skills it needs; the people it has and the people it might need in the future.
Building Our Skills can help businesses to develop their existing people through its range of practical training courses, management training courses, the Inspiring Talent Academy, and other employer led learning programmes and formal qualifications.