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A campaign to recruit young people into Scotland’s automotive glazing sector is underway thanks to the launch of a brand new Modern Apprenticeship in this increasingly complex discipline.
It is hoped more than 130 apprentices aged from 16-24 will be recruited into automotive glazing businesses across Scotland during the first year of the new scheme, in response to rapidly advancing technology. The Modern Apprenticeship will be managed by the Independent Windscreen Academy in a partnership with Skills Development Scotland, which is funding the apprentice training.
Based in Kilmarnock, Autoglaze Scotland is one of the first employers to sign up. It has registered six of its employees onto the new 12-month programme, which offers flexibility for both 16-19 year olds and more experienced staff aged over 20.
Commenting on the need for skilled young people to join the industry, Ronnie Wilson, Director of Autoglaze Scotland, which has been trading for 14 years, said:
“I’m delighted that we’ve now got a dedicated Apprenticeship for our industry in Scotland. The technology has moved on massively in just a few years so a structured programme of training to a national standard is very welcome and will provide a major boost to the sector.”
Damien Yeates, Chief Executive of Skills Development Scotland, said:
“Modern Apprenticeships deliver key vocational skills needed by the Scottish economy. Skills Development Scotland is committed to providing people with the chance to develop their talents and pursue their career goals, which Modern Apprenticeships allow them to do.
“This new Modern Apprenticeship in Automotive Glazing will allow apprentices to develop their skills in line with the changing demands of the industry and will ensure businesses in this sector continue to grow.”
The Independent Windscreen Academy is the only organisation of its kind in the UK. It offers skills development and industry accreditation to an estimated 700 independent automotive glazing firms.
Maria Charlton, Director, IWA, said:
“Automotive glazing requires an extremely complex set of skills and an increasingly broad knowledge of how new windscreens work and interact with the rest of the vehicle. There’s a real need for new blood in the industry and the launch of a Modern Apprenticeship for young people in Scotland is a great step forward in providing an exciting career. Of course, we’d welcome dynamic female recruits too with open arms.”
As part of the Modern Apprenticeship, the Scottish Vocational Qualification Level 2 certificate will be awarded by the Glass Qualifications Authority (GQA), which is the specialist awarding body for the glass sector and related industries in the UK.
Mick Clayton, Deputy Chief Executive, GQA, commented:
“The automotive glazing sector will benefit from an effectively implemented and widely available development programme and framework and this new development in Scotland is excellent news. IWA is to be congratulated for its work with SDS in recognising the need for skills development and we look forward to seeing the new generation of trained and fully qualified automotive glaziers."
Patrick O’Connor, aged 16, who works for Autoglaze Scotland in Kilmarnock, is one of the first apprentices to join the new Modern Apprenticeship in Automotive Glazing.