International designer and engineers of Aluminium building systems AluK is the latest big industry name to partner with the Building Our Skills campaign: Making Fenestration a Career of Choice.

Speaking about the partnership, Technical Director Nick Cooper explained: “I first became aware of the Building Our Skills campaign through conversations with Mick Clayton, CEO of GQA Qualifications with whom we are an Approved Centre.”

“At the FIT Show in May, I met up with the team managing the campaign and it was immediately evident that we should get involved. Their drive to try and attract newcomers to the Fenestration industry in order to reduce the widening skills gap, and to introduce new and exciting opportunities to upskill the existing workforce, perfectly matches our own outlook on things.”

“We’re proud to offer our own academy to train people on fabrication and installation, so to join in with them and be partners to their own Practical Training Academy and the new Inspiring Talent Academy is a really exciting prospect for us.”

“We have also committed our Chepstow headquarters to be one of the Inspiring Talent Academy exemplar facilities, and we look forward to welcoming students who visit us in 2020, and to playing our part in encouraging them to make Fenestration their long-term career of choice.”

“I am also delighted to appoint three people from AluK to become ‘Champions’ for Building Our Skills, across our company, and to deliver the message and the opportunities through our customer and supply chain network.”

“Darren Burford from our AluK Academy Training and Support Department, Leigh Cooper our Academy R&D Facilities Manager, and Steve Watkins, Head of Projects, will take up these positions.

Steph Tague, the head of Building Our Skills, confirmed the partnership, saying: “It is a real sign that you have a credible plan to try and bridge the skills gap when a company of the calibre of AluK gets on board and wants to play such an active role. We are delighted and can’t wait to get working with them on the many exciting initiatives that we have going.

”Building Our Skills has a range of campaigns running designed to help attract new people to the industry and to retain key staff already in place as a way of bridging the widening skills gap. These include the ‘Inspiring The Future’ campaign in association with FENSA, ‘Challenging Workplace Stereotypes’ in association with the FIT Show, and ‘Working With The Military Careers Service’ in association with GQA Qualifications.