Thursday saw the UK’s 6th Form and College students find out how they had done in their A-Level studies. Although the number of top grades fell slightly, the pass rate was still over 98%. Meaning 409,000 students had a confirmed place at university.

But as with every year, there will be those who did not get the grades and will not be going to university this year. Students are put under so much pressure to succeed, and are devastated when they don’t get the grades they wanted. It frustrates me. It frustrates me how much pressure is put on students, almost brainwashing them to believe that university is the best and only option to a bright future. Well it really isn’t.

One particularly good option for those wondering what to do would be an apprenticeship. The whole of the construction sector, including our own industry, is crying out for fresh talent and a massive influx of young people to replace an ageing demographic.

Consider a career in glazing

In the recent budget, Chancellor George Osbourne announced that the Government wanted to create 1m new apprenticeships during the course of this parliament. This for me was great news.

I was thinking from the point of view of the window and door industry. Our sector is chronically lacking in skilled young workers. I have written before that in a few short years our industry is going to come under intense pressure as the existing crop of employees retires and leaves the sector.

For me, this situation provides an ideal opportunity for young people wondering what to do with their future to consider a career in the glazing industry. It should, but as an industry we’re not doing anything about it.

Should the GGF be promoting the industry to school leavers?

Locally small glazing companies could find new recruits from around their area. Which is fine. But it’s nowhere near the scale of recruiting that the whole of the sector needs to satisfy it’s shortcomings. So is it time that industry bodies like the GGF step in and start promoting?

Due to the lack of youth coming through, the industry needs a swift and large injection of young people. It is bodies like the GGF that have the power, the people and the resources in which to carry out that sort of task.

They, along with other bodies like FENSA, could visit colleges and sixth form centres to promote the advantages of a career in the glazing industry. After all, there is more to just the window industry than selling and fitting!

The reality is, there is a huge array of varying and differing career opportunities for young school leavers to get stuck into. All rewarding. All giving the chance to progress further up the chain. All providing a chance to earn a great living as well. And the best thing is, you don’t need a degree to get started!

So come on GGF, back our youth and encourage them to consider a place in the glazing industry!

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