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November saw the official opening in Sheffield by Lord Blunkett of the new Building Our Skills academy, established in association with GQA Qualifications. The academy is the first of a planned network of facilities designed to offer hands-on practical training in the fenestration Industry. Training offered at the academy will include surveying, window and door installation, curtain wall and glass technology, in addition to theoretical training courses.

The new academy is supported by a large number of key Fenestration Industry employers. Those who wish to do so can attend a range of courses and master classes at the facility, send their staff to do the same or host their own product training there for their customers.

CEO of GQA, Mick Clayton, has been a passionate advocate of practical training for many years. He comments:

“To be able to make the new academy a reality is absolutely fantastic. I am over the moon that we are going to be able to bring more opportunities than ever to those in the Fenestration Industry who seek career progression. This is the start of a proposed extensive network of facilities around the country that will help to raise standards in the industry, and I for one can’t wait to see it fully utilised”.

Underpinned by GQA, the Building Our Skills campaign is designed to attract new entrants, young people and career changers into the dynamic Fenestration Industry. GQA Qualifications is the industry’s leading awarding body and has been writing industry-relevant qualifications for over twenty-five years. GQA is the only awarding body licensed to offer CSCS cards in the fenestration industry.

Further information is available at

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