More specifically, the business has recognised the challenge that now exists in the Glass & Glazing sector to not only increase the size of the workforce but to ensure that the workforce is the most skilled and motivated it can be. In a recent interview with Steve Wynn, National Apprenticeship Manager, Metro Performance Glass it was highly encouraging to hear about a range of new strategies they are putting in place.
This call to action has been strongly supported by the Metro Performance Glass Board of Directors whose recognition of this challenge and willingness to invest in a solution is critical to its ultimate success. Perhaps the most important decision they made initially was to create the National Apprenticeship Manager’s position and appoint Steve to the role. With this mandate, Steve has set about developing and implementing a range of strategies which include:
- a more active and targeted recruitment programme to increase the number of glazing and glass processing apprentices, from both internal and external sources
- an apprentice profile which gives clear guidelines of requirements and expectations
- a clearly defined career pathway for prospective apprentices,
- a more carefully managed trial period and transition into full apprenticeships
- developing a better internal system for monitoring apprentice progress
- developing a better system of monitoring apprentice numbers so that new recruits to replace those who complete apprenticeships are always in the pipeline
- training the trainers of apprentices so that they are better equipped to manage learners and teach knowledge and skills,
- providing a more engaging onsite training programme that has more variety and better prepares trainees with a broader skill set
- building a better working relationship with BCITO with more clear lines of communication.
Steve is determined to make a difference with these initiatives and sees a more successful training model as a responsibility they have to the industry. If the skills shortage is going to be addressed successful training is a must and the success of this cannot be left to chance.
With the recent introduction of an enhanced suite of Glass and Glazing qualifications, the importance of onsite training to the overall training programme has been highlighted even more. If this is well-managed and compliments the work done at offsite block courses, and advice and guidance from BCITO training advisors, learner success is highly likely.
Congratulations to Metro Performance Glass for the apprentice training initiatives it is implementing. The Metro team's willingness to accept this challenge and plan and invest accordingly is to be celebrated and commended. From our perspective, it is great to be working in such close partnership with them in the training of their glass and glazing apprentices.
If you’re looking for a straight answer to a serious question that helps the bottom line, such as who would you employ? you’ll get one if you ask Brad Sandri at Ranger Specialist Coatings.
Jayden Renner-Ellis is the newest Monumental Masonry Apprentice and is employed by Glover Memorials in Wellington.