The British glass industry is set to undergo a transformation in the way it recruits, develops and enhances the people involved in glass manufacturing with “The Glass Academy”. This new apprentice and in-work career path training is to be launched 5th February 2013. The innovative approach to training and development promises to boost global competitiveness of one of Britain’s successful manufacturing industries.
This employer matched £2.75m initiative from the £67m Government ‘Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot’ fund is designed to enable employers to kick-start opportunities for young people and train and retain existing talent within UK businesses.
Glass is vital to society today, and with continuing developments will form a fundamental platform for our future technologies. Apart from its well-known everyday household uses, many hi-tech applications such as touch-screens for smart phones and tablets, solar and wind energy harnessing, medical devices and fibre optics for phone and broadband continue to enhance our quality of life. Potential career pathways go far beyond those sometimes associated with traditional manufacturing and encompass engineering, science, chemistry, IT as well as managerial and administrative opportunities.
Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass, the trade body delivering the initiative, comments “It is now vital that businesses begin to take the lead in helping Britain fight back and improve our global competitiveness. We must ensure we are doing everything possible to attract the best new talent and help our existing workforce to fully realise their potential. The Glass Academy has been created to ensure we can compete internationally with a workforce that is world class”.
Taking an earn-while-you-learn approach, the Glass Academy offers re-invigorated apprenticeships, continuous professional development and career progression opportunities to every employee. Using a blended learning approach, the modular-style training will be delivered by e-learning, in classroom and at work, depending upon the type of study undertaken.
As the Glass Academy is created and supported directly by the industry it is designed to serve, it delivers a unique opportunity to fulfil criteria identified by recent research from think-tank Policy Exchange and the recent Government orchestrated Richard Report, namely that employers should have more influence in how courses are designed so that they are closely aligned to industry needs. This approach has for many years proved very successful in Germany, Austria and Switzerland where employers have long been involved in helping create courses that prepare individuals for the workplace. While these countries have the highest labour costs, they also have the highest output levels, demonstrating that this approach is very effective at boosting GDP.