Research conducted by Building Our Skills has identified that at the end of the first week in May there were over 1100 vacancies for installers being advertised on job sites throughout the UK.

The research was conducted in association with partner FrontFoot, specialists in re-introducing military service personnel into mainstream industry.

It is the clearest sign yet of the scale of the skills gap impacting the industry. Speaking about the findings Building Our Skills ambassador John Ogilvie commented “seeing over 1100 vacancies being advertised for installers at a single point in time was truly shocking. It is perhaps the first time we have been able to quantify the nature of the problem which we are all aware of, and of course these are only the ones that are being formally advertised; the true number is going to be much higher”.

“It was during a conversion with Tim O’Keefe at FrontFoot that these figures came to life when we were trying to qualify the scale of the opportunity for us to engage with them to bring military service personnel into the Fenestration Industry”.

“As many of you know we have recently launched an initiative to try to encourage the industry to look at the armed forces sector as a potential pool of people to tap into the bring new blood to the industry, and the early response has been very encouraging”.

“Seeing the scale of the problem in black and white is guaranteed to concentrate the mind, and as an industry we have to think differently if we are going to start bridging the skills gap which is still growing”.

“Everyone recognises the value that service personnel bring to the world of employment and we are delighted that we have now formed a direct link between our industry and those who can introduce our employers to the talent pool that is available, and most importantly, is available right now”.

“As we continue with our longer-term journey to engage with the education sector to impart knowledge of our industry into the minds of the future workforce, we have very high hopes that this new relationship will help those looking to add to their workforce right now”.

“We will be building hands on GQA accredited practical training courses into the recruitment process, along with 12 months of ongoing support for both the recruit and the employer to ensure that we are delivering a sustainable solution for all parties.  We want employers who engage to know they will be getting installers who have been given outstanding basic training in all the key elements relevant to their role and are ready to contribute to their business from day one”.

Tim O’Keefe for FrontFoot echoed John’s message, “During all our conversations with Building Our Skills we had been trying to get a handle on the scale of the skills gap that the Fenestration Industry is facing and seeing this figure has given us a clear picture”.

“As John says, these are just the ones we know about, and if employers are able to fill these positions, they are only going to be able to do so by taking installers from a competitor, it doesn’t reduce the skills gap, it just moves the problem somewhere else; the overall numbers needed don’t go down”.

“We are keen to work with the Fenestration Industry and to bring new blood to it.  We know that service personnel bring great attributes to the workplace and we are really looking forward to making an impact which will benefit all parties and reduce the shortfall in numbers currently impacting the industry”.

For more information about how to go about engaging service personnel, in the first instance email or visit