Building Our Skills – Making Fenestration, Glass and Glazing a Career of Choice has appointed an advisory panel. Made up of X  highly experienced representatives from a broad variety of industry organisations, the new panel will meet four times a year with the aim of helping to steer the initiative as it continues on its path of bridging the skills gap.

The panel convened its first meeting in December, and Partnerships Manager, Mark Handley, said it was an invaluable session. He comments:

“We all recognise that there are challenges to overcome in trying to bridge the skills gap faced by the industry, and we know there are no quick fixes. The new advisory panel is already giving us great insights as to what we can collectively do to build on the work that has already been done to date. The breadth of experience that the panel brings to the table is already helping us to refine and commit to a long-term plan. It means that Building Our Skills is more of an ‘industry-owned’ initiative, which is as it should be.

The Minutes of the first meeting are here for everyone to view:

Thank you for attending the first Building Our Skills Advisory panel meeting, your input is really appreciated. I know there are a number of other industry colleagues who couldn’t attend on the day but also want to be involved (copied into these minutes), and your input will also be very welcome going forward.

We all recognise that there are challenges to overcome in trying to bridge the skills gap faced by the industry, and we know there are no quick fixes. What we can collectively do though is build upon the work that has already been done by individuals, and by individual companies to date, and commit to a long-term plan on which we can use our energy and our experience to see it through.

Education Sector

As outlined, our main focus at the minute is on engaging with a workforce of tomorrow, and we have commenced a number of initiatives with the education sector:

Volunteers to speak in schools – we know a lot of you have already signed up for this initiative, but if you haven’t and would like to do so, or if you have any colleagues or customers who you think might want to, please visit https://educationandemployersprogrammes.force.com/s/signupitf?campaign=Building+Our+Skills&campaignOptIn=true&type=volunteer to sign up.

Schools Presentation – We have drafted an initial presentation for use in schools, or simply to draw on for ideas. We would very much welcome your input and guidance as to what changes we can make, what we can add, what we can take out. When you have a few minutes please have a quick read of the presentation and come back to us with any notes/thoughts you may have. You can email sayhello@socialp6.sg-host.com or markhandley@socialp6.sg-host.com or give any of us a call to chat your ideas through.  Our contact details are at the bottom.

Inspiration Days – very early in 2023 we are going to formally launch our ‘Inspiration Days’ campaign to the education sector. Simply, this is where we offer schools a visit to an industry facility where we hope to educate and inspire. Schools are being increasingly challenged to form partnerships with industry and this is a great way for them, and for us, to achieve our goals. Very soon we will create a short sign up form to enable businesses to register their facility as a part of the scheme, but even now, if this is something you would like to be involved with, just drop us a quick email sayhello@socialp6.sg-host.com or markhandley@socialp6.sg-host.com

Careers Fayres – We will shortly be formalising a programme of careers fayres around the UK and will confirm once that is done. We would very much welcome your support at these fayres if they are in your area, to represent the industry, Building Our Skills, and your own company. We’ll come back to you with more information in due course.

Other Sectors – we discussed and will continue to work on opportunities to bring people into the industry from the military and the prison sector, recognising that there are unique challenges to overcome.

Apprenticeships – we all recognise that apprenticeships as they stand now don’t support the industry in trying to attract or retain new talent. It is subject we should keep as an agenda item to see if there are opportunities to influence change in the future.

Industry Career Paths – we discussed that we had identified 50 career paths already, and that the industry could support us with images of these roles so that we can paint an attractive picture to people looking to join us. We will very shortly send out a list of the job roles we have identified and would ask you to add to it where you can. The more comprehensive we make the list, the wider the pool of people we can talk to and try and attract to the industry. Each job needs to contain an overview of the progression path it can offer, training, and qualifications opportunities.

Images – to help us develop the above we would welcome any images you may have of any and all job roles in your business. Please share images with us sayhello@socialp6.sg-host.com Your support will be greatly appreciated.

Next meeting – our next meeting will be on 31st January 2023 online. We will send a calendar appointment in due course. At that meeting we will agree a date for an in person meeting for the spring time, and if anybody would like to host that meeting please let us know.

In the meantime, once again, thank you for your support. Collectively we can achieve so much more than we can do individually.

Best wishes,

Mark, John and Chris

Mark Handley 07860 844296

John Ogilvie 07710 467646

Chris Globe 07429 103925