The Fenestration Industry forms part of the wider construction skills sector and works with glass and glass-related products. The current glass industry is one that covers the manufacture of flat glass, container glass, domestic glass, decorative glass, instrumental glass, automotive and specialist areas such as Fire Resistant Glazing as well as the surveying and installation process to buildings as part of windows fabricated in production facilities, and in vehicles. It is a very diverse sector with very good learning potential but little known and understood to those outside of the industry.
This Case Study is the collaboration between secondary education, further education and industry.
Basildon Glassworks Ltd are specialists in the glass processing industry, manufacturing and cutting bespoke products including bevelled glass, mirrors, toughened glass, shower screens and balustrading to safety and fire glasses and painted splashbacks. They were established in 1977 and are based on Pipps Hill Industrial Estate, Basildon in Essex.
Basildon Glassworks are a small, family run company headed up by Sisters Georgina Phillips and Nicola Layfield, with an experienced team who have a passion for passing on valuable knowledge and skills to the next generation. They are long-established clients of Fit For Trade Ltd who are a private training provider, specialising in commercial and apprenticeship workbased learning throughout the fenestration industry.
In October 2017, Basildon Glassworks approached Fit For Trade with a view of employing two Intermediate Level Apprentices in Glass Processing and despite an initially unsuccessful recruitment campaign, links were then formed with the school, Basildon Upper Academy, located in Pitsea in Essex.
In March 2018 a Year 10 student was given the opportunity to commence extended work experience with Basildon Glassworks. The student was part of an alternative education provision which seeks out work placements for two days a week, within school hours, with the aim to encourage and inspire them about future career choices. The students in this cohort have little self-belief in being able to achieve or accomplish anything and the school use the placement strategy to help build the confidence and belief that they can be successful.
The Careers Learning Co-ordinator at Basildon Upper Academy, Sophie Peake says “We find that the students benefits from this two day break from lessons in school and build up skills such as communication and organisation which helps to prepare them for future employment”.
The School has seen significant progress to their students with increased personal development and skills which allow cohorts of students to engage with local businesses and find future employmentand apprenticeship placements with local companies.
On 27th June 2018, Mason Davis was enrolled onto his apprenticeship framework with Fit For Trade Ltd. Georgina Phillips, Managing Director at Basildon Glassworks says “Working with Fit For Trade and Basildon Academies has aided Mason’s transition between school, further education and industry and we are very pleased to welcome Mason to our team”.
Joanne Taylor, Director at Fit For Trade Ltd says “Working as a collaboration with schools that strategize alternatives for future education provision in the vocational sector has a massive benefit to industry and will have an impact on bridging the skills gap we face in fenestration”.
Mason was nominated for a Jack Petchey Award for his outstanding change in his attitude to learning and his accomplishments of his work placement and his offer of an apprenticeship. Established in 1999, the Jack Petchey Foundation makes grants to programmes and projects that benefit young people aged 11-25. The Foundation exists to raise the aspirations of young people, to help them take advantage of opportunities and play a full part in society. Mason was chosen as winner of the Award from a range of nominees and will receive a framed certificate and pin badge, a letter from Jack Petchey himself and £250 to give to a chosen department within the school at an Awards presentation ceremony.
Fit For Trade Ltd are working with a number of Enterprise Coordinators across Kent, Essex and Suffolk who are part of a wider team within local authority whose aim is to help Careers Leaders within Schools to understand and deliver the requirements of the Careers Strategy and statutory guidance. If you would like to know more about the Fenestration Industry and the work Fit For Trade are doing to promote apprenticeships, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.