This was the first NAG meeting to take place in person since May 2019, and it was great to have all members there, old and new to discuss what is happening out in the glass sector. We want to take this opportunity to thank all NAG members for taking the time out of their busy schedules to travel to Wellington and contribute to such a productive meeting. Some of the key discussion points to come out of the meeting were:
- The entire industry is hectic currently, most businesses have worked secured for the next 8-12 months, and the earlier fears of a lack of work due to Covid-19 seem to of been alleviated.
- There is a real labour shortage around the country within the glass industry, businesses are struggling to find staff, and that is ranging from labourers, apprentices right through to qualified staff.
- The government initiatives announced earlier this year have seen a considerable increase in apprentice numbers, since 1 July when the no fees initiative began we have seen 198 sign-ups (new and re-sign) into glass qualifications. We have also seen 36 new employers take on apprentices for the first time.
- The glass & glazing qualification review has begun with the forming of industry working groups for glazing, processing and automotive. Work will continue on the review for the remainder of the year with results of the review expected to be submitted to NZQA in early 2021.
- There was real excitement about myBCITO for apprentices which is an online Learning Management System (LMS) being used by apprentices to load evidence of their work, access their resources, access to third party content and take part in fun interactive quizzes.
- Mental health is a huge talking point in the construction industry, and BCITO Education Team is developing a series of mental health ‘learning bites’ for apprentices and employers that will be hosted on the myBCITO platform. The learning bites will be brief, informative and solution-focused. They are not an alternative to seeking help and do not put BCITO in the space of providing interventions. The aim is to raise awareness, pure and simple.
Industry intelligence says there are approximately 300 Resin applicators across New Zealand.
Glenn Bosworth of Bosworth Stone Ltd and Bosworth and Barthel Stone Restoration Ltd enlightens us to the practice that stonemasons had of carving caricatures of themselves into the stonework features.