People & Skills  

Breaking through the glass ceiling of industry training

One of Britain's most successful manufacturing industries, the glass industry is set to undergo a radical transformation in the way it recruits and develops its people with the February launch of 'The Glass Academy'
 Glass is one of Britain’s most successful industries

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The innovative approach to training and development is hoped to boost the international competitiveness of Britain’s glass industry, enabling employers to create opportunities for young people and train/retrain existing talent within the country’s many businesses.

 The Glass Academy will offer re-invigorated apprenticeships, continuous professional development and career progression opportunities to every employee, all via an earn-while-you-learn approach.

The modular-style training delivered allows a blended learning approach, with lessons incorporating traditional classroom sessions, as well as e-learning and on-the-job training.  

Glass is becoming increasingly important to modern society, with uses going far beyond the well-known everyday household application. The many high-tech uses of glass include touch screens for smartphones and electronic devices, solar and wind energy harnessing, medical devices and fibre optics for phone and broadband; all of which continue to enhance the quality of our lives.

Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass, the trade body responsible for delivering the initiative, commented:

“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.”

By reaching out to all sectors of the educational establishment, the Glass Academy intends to revitalise the apprenticeship model, raising standards in order for them to be seen as genuinely viable and an attractive alternative to academia.

Ahead of the 5 February launch, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock MP stated:

“For British business to succeed and compete in the global race, they need a highly skilled workforce that can meet the challenges of the future.

“The Employer Ownership Fund has already committed nearly £90 million to help companies across the country achieve this. With applications for round two now open, I would urge more businesses – large and small – to consider how the fund can help them grow, from creating new apprenticeship programmes to setting up specialist training academies.

“The Glass Academy is a fantastic example of businesses working together with government to help their industry to thrive, while also giving thousands of young people the opportunity to forge their careers in an evolving and growing sector.”

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