By Paul Grimshaw.
Maintaining and updating skill levels across any industry is important to ensure that the industry as a whole remains up to date, innovative and able to adapt to changing requirements. It is also a key element to attracting and retaining new talent and protecting the professionalism of the industry. Construction and manufacturing perhaps know more about this than other sectors, struggling to get a consistently high level of basic skills across its workforce and a concerted effort has been made and continues to be made by Governing bodies, industry leaders and educational establishments to try to stop the industry decline that begins when training ends.
Sometimes half of the battle with training and up-skilling is encouraging those in the industry to want to improve and then rewarding broader skills with respect and advantage. As a large manufacturer we offer free training sessions to all those who are going to be fitting our insulated panels; however we see very few contactors actually taking up the offer of that training for their teams.
This seems to be symptomatic of a wider problem and so we are teaming up with training and education providers and industry bodies like the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) to promote the value and opportunities to be found in training. We are really passionate about keeping a high level of skill and competence across the industry and then recognising those who have gone the extra mile, because the quality of a completed project impacts on everyone.
National competitions such as SkillBuild, run by ConstructionSkills, are important to ignite the enthusiasm in young people to excel in their craft and to promote excellence across the industry. SkillBuild comprises 10 categories one of which is roofing, which is managed by NFRC. As a key partner working with the NFRC, Kingspan is offering, not only to train the finalists in cladding skills but also to train the assessors, so that the judging is well-informed and accurate. Those involved from both sides will come away with a broad knowledge of cladding installation of different panel types, health and safety and mechanical lifting, which they can take with them to future projects. We are also looking to expand this further and include this training within the formal qualifications taken by those on apprenticeships and training programmes.
Everyone in the construction and manufacturing industry has a vested interest in supporting and encouraging a well-skilled workforce to ensure the integrity and professionalism of our professions. If you would like to know more about SkillBuild, click here to go to the website and if you are interested in the training offered by Kingspan Insulated Panels, then please email me on the address below.
Paul Grimshaw, Regional Sales Manager