Building Our Skills – Making Fenestration, Glass and Glazing a Career of Choice has expanded its national network of practical training centres with the addition of two new academy sites. The first is via a partnership with BUILD training, located near Heathrow airport, and the other through collaboration with Glass & Fenestration Training Solutions (GFTS) in Cornwall.

The expansion of the delivery network for practical training follows quickly after the acquisition by Building Our Skills of the digital assets and course content of Profitter which includes a range of courses including an introduction to fenestration for beginners, intermediate and advanced courses, along with specialist opportunities and surveying.

BUILD is an independent training provider, working with learners of a broad range of ages from sixteen up to seventy-five to facilitate their entry into the construction sector. Commenting on its partnership with Building Our Skills, BUILD’s Head of Centre, Marcia Wootton and Jane Gunn, BUILD’s Head Of Construction jointly stated:

“It’s great to be part of the Building Our Skills ‘family’. The aims of BOS and BUILD are very much aligned.  We’re fans of what BOS is trying to achieve, and hope that we can contribute to this too. We’re passionate about the fenestration industry, and want to help address the skills gap from which it is suffering. In particular, we can help to encourage younger people into the industry by ensuring they see the real career opportunities it presents.”

Glass & Fenestration Training Solutions (GFTS) offer a very broad range of apprenticeships, training and qualifications across the whole of the country in many aspects of the fenestration industry. These include glass processing, installation & surveying, curtain walling, glazing, fabrication of glass supporting systems and associated qualifications.

GFTS reflect the view put forward by BUILD training. Samantha Tinker, GFTS’s Director of Business and Quality says:

“Here at GFTS we also share the aims of Building Our Skills, and believe it’s vital to encourage new people into the fenestration industry. Qualifications and good-quality training are a means of helping learners to carve out a career in the industry and help business managers to retain their staff and compete competitively. We back Building Our Skills totally and are very pleased to be part of its network of training providers.”

In addition to its original practical training academy at Sheffield and the two new practical training centre, Building Our Skills is looking at adding further sites, including the next proposed one in the Scottish Borders.  All practical training content is formally GQA accredited giving learners a skills card to carry with them to show their achievements, and which can be added to as they enrol for further, more advanced courses.

This latest initiative from Building Our Skills to open two new centres is in line with its twin aims of bringing more new people into the fenestration industry and upskilling industry employees to promote personal and professional development, encourage employee loyalty, and to raise standards.

Commenting on the new development, John Ogilvie, Director of Building Our Skills said:

“Here at Building Our Skills we strongly believe that practical training is the way forward for the industry. Opening these two new centres is a great step forward for the industry and demonstrates our commitment to raising standards in fenestration. It’s gratifying that we are able to offer training to support industry employees to do their jobs to the highest standards, and that we are now able to do this on a regional basis which has obvious appeal for those wanting to train.”

More information on Building Our Skills – Making Fenestration, Glass and Glazing a Career of Choice – is available at or through