Skills body launches with
‘love it or lose it’ warning
“If we don’t embrace and love our industry, we are not going to have one!” was the stark warning that launched the inaugural conference of Building our Skills, the new body set up to promote the fenestration industry as a career of choice.
Among perspectives presented from facets of not only the industry itself but various bodies promoting careers and training around all construction sectors, the one overriding conclusion was that there was much work to be done, not only in synchronising and co-ordinating all bodies concerned but also in galvanising employers to recognise their own role in attracting the right skills into their own workplace.
Speakers highlighted two tiers in the challenge of promoting the image: limited awareness of fenestration as an industry in its own right but more importantly how to present all the separate skills within it as attractive career prospects, especially to young people making the first choice after education. Also, inevitably, at the forefront of such challenges was that of overcoming the gender bias that exists in all the hard-hat industries.
Building Our Skills is a new entity in the industry, following its inauguration earlier this year and the conference was seen very much as its launching point. But, as everything from the skills gap in general to falling immigration numbers look set to give the industry a real dilemma, the challenge ahead is one that the organisation is not underestimating.