Addressing the UK skills shortage: Howells Patent Glazing’s focus is on their employees

Addressing the UK skills shortage: Howells Patent Glazing’s focus is on their employees

Undertaking workplace NVQ’s are an important part of addressing the UK skills shortage, and it’s something that Midlands based manufacturing firm Howells Patent Glazing have introduced to their entire workforce this year.

According to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, whilst employment levels have increased, there is mounting evidence of stalling productivity growth that could hinder the current economic recovery as employers are unable to optimise their performance. The need to address structural skills and employment challenges, particularly in youth employment, is also something that the UKCES flagged up.

Howells Patent Glazing, a family run business, are dedicating 2016 to improving the skills of their whole team, including management level employees, to help address the UK skills shortage. Ensuring that their team is fully qualified means a lot to the firm, and Howells believe that their continued success is down to their commitment to the welfare and constant improvement of their dedicated staff.

Debbie Willetts, company secretary at Howells Patent Glazing said, “As a member of the team who is undertaking our new training programme, as well as organising it, I can honestly say that I am extremely proud of everyone’s progress here. Our staff have welcomed the new training courses and I have had the pleasure of seeing them all flourish and their confidence grow as a result.  I understand, first hand, that it is a very big step to start a new learning journey, especially having left education many years ago. I have recently started a coaching and mentoring course in addition to my Leadership and management NVQ to help support our team. I am even more pleased to find that at the end of each course, the staff are asking and willing to undertake more. As an employer, what more could I ask for?”

The Employer Skills Survey (ESS), states that manufacturing businesses like Howells are most likely to encounter skills shortages when looking to recruit suitable candidates for roles in their industry, accounting for 30% of hard-to-fill manufacturing vacancies.  However, Howells see their investment in staff as an enrichment programme to ensure that every member of their workforce is satisfied in their job role, and is able to obtain the relevant skills needed to remain ahead of the pack within the manufacturing industry.

Currently focusing on staff on the production line, from operatives through to management level, Howells Patent Glazing have taken their staff from Functional Skills Level 2 all the way through to Level 2 NVQ Diploma’s in Business Improvement Techniques. Howells believe that there is still a desire for people to gain valuable skills and join manufacturing firms like their own. The Howells bosses are hoping to continue training their team and encourage more young people to consider a career in a thriving manufacturing industry like theirs. 

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