Developing the workforce and bringing forward the next generation of talent is a huge focus for the industry. Epwin Window Systems is leading the way in showcasing the value of a career in fenestration.
Lee Cattermole, Learning & Development Manager at Epwin Window Systems, says: “Fenestration is a dynamic industry and there are plenty of opportunities for a fulfilling and rewarding career. We are developing a range of training strategies across the business with a structured career progression path to attract and develop the next generation of talent.”
To encourage career development, there is a wide range of apprenticeship courses at all levels available to employees at Epwin Window Systems. There are currently eight traditional apprentices and 12 development apprentices within the business. And over the past two years, six apprenticeships have been completed. Lee comments: “Developing people through high-quality apprenticeships and workforce strategies is proven to be good for employers and employees alike.”
Lee is also active in the wider community, raising awareness of the value of a technical career. In December 2022, he spoke at an event organised by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology with an audience address from the Minister for Skills, Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, about the new Engineering and Manufacturing Higher Technical Qualifications. Lee said: “I’ve been actively involved in supporting the development of the Institute who are delivering Higher Technical Qualifications at levels 4 and 5 for the past 4 years. The Institute is a world class facility where collaboration, innovation and outstanding support for STEM education come together under one roof and it’s accessible by any employer. Maintaining the link between the Institute and Epwin Window Systems will play a key part in ensuring that we have access to advanced technologies where needed for our future success.”
He is in talks with the Black Country Institute of Technology about how Epwin Window Systems supports fenestration skills for modular build. Lee said: “Epwin Window Systems is a large local employer and building partnerships like this is good for our business and for the wider industry.”
Lee also sits on the advisory panel of Building Our Skills, which aims to make fenestration, glass and glazing a career of choice. Lee commented: “Building Our Skills is an incredibly important initiative because it works to bridge the growing skills gap. It works closely with employers and other organisations to attract new entrants to the industry and upskill the existing workforce. The aim is to inspire them to see the industry as a home for their long-term career ambitions.”
Attracting and retaining talent is a critical challenge for the fenestration industry. As these initiatives show, Epwin Window Systems is ahead of the curve in addressing this challenge.