’Training is the Key to Quality’

by Phil Slinger – CAB Chief Executive

We have known for some time that we are experiencing a serious skills shortage in our Fenestration Industry which is due to a range of factors. We have an ageing workforce which means that the rate of workforce retirement will continue to increase in the coming years and with a poor pipeline of young people being attracted into the industry this is set to widen the gap even further. People who do choose to come into the Industry from other industries, possibly attracted by inflated salaries, simply do not have the experience but are placed within the workforce to quickly learn, usually the good and the bad! Sadly, as salaries continue to rise to retain staff, there is little left in our competitive industry to factor in for training, or so it seems.

If you ask anyone in our Industry they will rate training as a priority in their business because, quite simply, the experienced fabricator and installer can help reduce errors and it can even realise savings on projects. So, given these savings, why are we not investing in training? I believe it comes down to companies evaluating risk and hoping that problems just do not arise. As an industry, we must become much more risk averse and invest in training to achieve not only an anticipated profit, but to offer high quality installations which in the longer term will lead to premiums on contracts.

The Council for Aluminium in Building have long recognised that as an association we need to support our members with up to date technical information and training which in turn enables a CAB member to raise their status in the industry when it comes to specifying and quoting for projects.

Partnering with GQA Qualifications, a leading award body, CAB has developed a simple route to attaining a Curtain Walling Installers CSCS Card. The initial one day CAB introductory course forms part of a mandatory module leading to the award of a newly created CAB Curtain Walling Installers CSCS Card. Since 2017, glass, glazing or fenestration CSCS cards are only available via GQA Qualifications. With the support of the GQA, there is now a route to attaining a CAB Curtain Walling Installers CSCS Card which any installer can work towards. Furthermore, the training material can also be used by CAB members as a valuable training tool to teach the fundamentals of curtain wall systems to staff and new employees in associated roles within members businesses.

Applications to attend the Introductory Course for the CSCS qualification are managed by CAB and candidates apply by completing the enrolment form which can be found on the CAB website. CAB will then liaise with candidates to book a convenient course date with training being carried out by a GQA Approved Training Provider. The cost to attend the one-day course is just £249 plus VAT, but CAB members will qualify for a discounted rate of £199 plus VAT. Training Centres will offer guidance to delegates to apply for a trainee CSCS card, temporary card or renewal card. Further information regarding the criteria and process for applying for a CAB Curtain Walling Installers CSCS card can be found on the GQA Qualifications website.