Building our Skills in Fenestration launched in June 2018. Glass News interviewed Mick Clayton, CEO of GQA Qualifications – the industry’s awarding body for Fenestration and Glazing qualifications. GQA is helping to spearhead the campaign, and Mick gives an insight to how the campaign will work and who can get involved.
Question: What is Building Our Skills in Fenestration and how did it come about?
The campaign is aimed at school-leavers, parents, teachers and other interested parties mainly through online media, with the aim to show individuals how they can gain a career in the industry and identify which job opportunities they could follow.
The campaign came about whilst brainstorming ideas with our marketing agency, Inside The Box Marketing. We have always campaigned to improve the quality of individuals in the industry through learning and qualifications; but, even more so lately, when we started to become concerned for the increasing shortage of newcomers and youngsters into the industry.
Working with Inside The Box Marketing, GQA has establish an industry-wide initiative which could: attract new blood, hold no competitive bias for any one company, encourage relationship building and engagement between the industry and education institutes.
GQA will championing the campaign through its network of GQA approved training centres, who provides National support to youngsters and newcomers to achieve a variety of academic and professional qualifications.
Question: Who is getting involved and what commitment are they giving to support the campaign?
The campaign currently has over 30 employer supporters; however, we are encouraging more businesses to get involved. Companies from any sector of the industry are welcome to join the campaign, promote and showcase Fenestration.
Inclusion is free, but organisation will be asked to commit by pledging their support to promote the campaign: displaying its logo, supporting social media efforts, providing marketing collateral in line with the needs of the campaign, enthusing their employees, suppliers and customers to support and become advocates of the campaign and more importantly provide genuine support to youngsters and newcomers entering the industry by giving them the tools to learn, train and become professional at their job.
Question: How will the campaign be promoted, funded and developed now and in the future?
A website has been developed to promote the campaign and with the support of company supporters contributing marketing material, the site will give visitors the chance to view information on the Fenestration industry: its history and where it is today, potential qualifications and the skills people could gain, different career paths, job opportunities, apprenticeship schemes, training centres, case studies and other news stories.
Social media – Twitter has been set up to help increase awareness of the campaign and push visitors towards the new website. The immediate use of a hashtag campaign, using images of supporters, current apprentices and training centres all carrying relevant sayings like #Buildingourskills, other video footage of interviews with business owners, directors and personalities from the industry and utilising images of companies from all corners of the sector be used.
A three-year strategy is in place to support the campaign, with plans to develop and encourage more businesses to embrace the principles of Building Our Skills. Support from GQA Approved Training Centres will offer the latest information on recruiting, training, qualifications and funding available on the website and development of more practical training centres, in which individuals and companies can gain additional hands-on skills are currently being reviewed. Ambassadors and mentors are also being recruited to help spearhead and advise businesses and newcomers.
Question: Can you tell our readers, why companies should get behind Building Our Skills in Fenestration campaign
There is no short-term fix in eliminating the skills shortage, but there could be a long-term plan to create a professional and knowledgeable sector by proving how rewarding it can be working in Fenestration. Let’s face it, most of us have made a great living out of working in the industry and many of us have a story to tell!
Raising its profile, through a single, but united voice is a perfect way of creating awareness, and as the campaign gains momentum through individual businesses, colleagues, suppliers, customers, schools, teachers and parents – this voice will become louder and more noticeable, creating the awareness needed.