GGF Tackles Skills Shortage Head On

The new Glass and Glazing Federation’s Skilled Pathways Scheme has welcomed its first cohort of candidates in a bid to recruit and upskill the next generation of glaziers. The Federation is determined to incite action now to meet ambitious Government targets ahead of deadline. 

“The Government’s objective to achieve net zero by 2050 will require an estimated 500,000 additional skilled workers in the construction industry, including the glass, glazing and fenestration industries,” explains GGF Group Managing Director, John Agnew. “We need to act now to get the right people in place and upskill so we can continue to be an important part of the green agenda in construction.

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“Working in partnership with Total Support Training and GQA Qualifications, this new programme is unlike any other apprenticeship scheme in our industry. We are funding training up to £4000 per GGF Member Company as part of the pilot scheme to aggressively attract more businesses to take part. The scheme will also have a very clear and focussed career trajectory for candidates, to ensure we keep the programme of upskilling on track.”

In the first instance the GGF Skilled Pathways Scheme plans to cover Glazing, Glass Processing, Fenestration, Fire Resistant Glazing, Window Film Application and Technical Administration, but as the scheme builds in momentum, this list is set to grow.

John continues: “We’ve been excited to see so many member companies showing an interest in our scheme pre-launch. It requires long term commitment from companies as they move their trainees through the programme of both on-site and ‘off the job’ learning over the course of 18-24 months, but our members are clearly dedicated to doing the right thing.”

Among the first to take advantage of the Skilled Pathways Scheme is Prentice Glass, who has three candidates starting. Joanne Jackman, General Manager of Prentice Glass commented, “We’re very pleased to be taking part in the GGF Skilled Pathways scheme. Being one of the oldest glazing companies in London, we know how important it is to get young glaziers trained in the industry. Being part of the GGF has meant that we have half of the training costs funded, providing an excellent opportunity for the apprentices and the company. Exciting times are ahead, we hope to support the GGF and see many more schemes in the future.“

John Agnew concludes “More information on the GGF Skilled Pathways Scheme can be found in our online Training Hub, which provides members with a complete resource of the expanse of training opportunities available.  We also have a dedicated section within the Training Hub called New to Glass that is open to anyone looking to join the industry. We’re confident we can play our part in helping the construction sector to meet the Government targets, but time is of the essence. Companies must act now, and the GGF Training Hub, including this new Skilled Pathway Scheme, is a great place to start.”

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