In its first nine months of operation, Essex-based 4GE Academy has seen a significant uplift in the number of installation businesses undertaking some form of skills development for their personnel.Run by a team that possesses over 50 years of experience within the glass and glazing sector, 4GE Academy has so far registered more than 200 candidates on vocational qualifications, in a drive to boost workforce recognition and showcase the sector as a desirable career choice.
According to Neil Robinson, Director, 4GE Academy, who has spent over 30 years in the glass industry, there is a growing acknowledgement that training, rather than being seen as a cost to the business, represents a sound future investment: “More than ever before, a company’s fitting credentials are under scrutiny and that means a workforce must have the right skills. We are starting to see a culture shift where there is increasing engagement in the training agenda, as well as a wider appreciation for professional credibility and recognition.”
Continued Robinson: “Quality of workmanship and accountability count for everything in today’s highly competitive glazing industry so without a focus on skills and investment, there is no future. 4GE understands the demands on a business, so we take a flexible approach in our delivery that is beneficial to companies and learners alike.”
Offering both Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships in Glass Industry Operations, as well as national qualifications in Fenestration Installation and Fenestration Surveying, 4GE Academy is highlighting to employers that the National Apprenticeship Service has extended its Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) until the end of 2013. This means that any business with less than 1,000 employees can apply for a grant of £1,500 when they recruit an apprentice aged 16 to 24. The grant is in addition to the funded training of an Apprenticeship, which is met in full by the Government for those aged 16 to 18 and 50% part-funded for those aged 19 to 24. The employer pays the apprentice’s salary, plus national insurance and any other associated costs. Up to ten grants per business are available to eligible companies. Recent statistics published by the National Apprenticeship Service showed that online applications for Apprenticeships across all industries had increased by 32% year on year with each available vacancy attracting 11 potential candidates.
Full details of 4GE Academy’s services are on its new website - www.4geacademy.com Ends Notes to Editors: 4GE Academy was established in 2012 to help develop a skilled and recognised workforce within the fenestration and associated glass sectors. An independent training provider working in partnership with the awarding body, Industry Qualifications, 4GE Academy provides advice, guidance and management in all aspects of skills within the glass fitting industry, including: fenestration glazing training; Apprenticeships in Glass Industry Occupations; national glazing and fenestration qualifications; glass and construction industry accreditation.