I asked this question on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. I got nothing on Linkedin but was swamped on the other two platforms with answers which surprised me a little.

We know that our industry is badly in need of youth and new talent, a shortage which has been exacerbated over the last couple of years. But if the sector wants more young people, does that mean that those who currently work in the fenestration sector would want their own kids to be part of it?

The feedback gave an insight into how we think about our own industry.

Mostly positive

In the past, when I have heard the question of whether someone would want their kids to be part of the fenestration industry, more often than not I have heard “no” in answer to that question. Yet, we say every day how much we need thousands of new people to come into the sector to replace the talent that is leaving. So if we know we need young people, why are we not prepared to let our own kids be part of an industry that has provided so much for so many?

So I asked the same question on social media and was immediately hit with tons of answers, which was great. If you took a moment to reply, I thank you. To be honest, I was expecting a ton of “no” replies, just as I have always experienced. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the high number of “yes” answers to my question.

Those who replied explained that this is a sector that there are a number of great opportunities right now and that with the right training and work ethic they could do very well in the same industry they work in.

It’s worth saying that the Twitter poll I am running at the moment is showing a rough split down the middle. I suspect that those who were happy to say that they were OK with their kids working in the fenestration sector were comfortable explaining why. Right now via the social poll, there are nearly as many who say they would not want their kids to follow in their footsteps in this industry as there are who would.

It was put to me, that given how much the industry complains about the lack of skilled youth and talent, you would think they would be happy for their own kids to work in fenestration. However, for some, it appears to be the case that they want more skilled labour, just so long as it’s not their own kids. Well, that kind of attitude isn’t going to change the tide of the crisis.

Right now, there are far more people leaving the industry than there are joining it. Unless something radical happens in our approach to attracting the people we need, that won’t change.

But our children are part of the next generation that we need. And surely those who work in fenestration right now are some of the best-placed people to train them?


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