Training, Seminars and Workshops

Click Here to go to the Training Archives

L.B. Plastics Team Raises the Roof

As the new Sheerlite conservatory roof system takes off in 2005, L.B. Plastics has ensured its key customer service staff have up to the minute knowledge of the latest Sheerframe conservatory developments by providing its team of area sales managers with a special technical seminar at its Derbyshire HQ.

Designed to suit any window system, Sheerlite offers a good solution for Sheerframe and an important one given the growth L.B. Plastics is experiencing in the conservatory market, particularly from the newbuild sector. This commitment to training and support by L.B. Plastics will ensure that its area sales managers can assist fabricators more effectively in the first instance, with further technical back up always available.

L.B. Plastics' Mike Butterick (back, centre) provides an insight into the latest Sheerframe conservatory developments to area sales managers during the recent conservatory training day held at its Nether Heage HQ

L.B. Plastics' Mike Butterick says, 'Sheerlite sets new standards in conservatory performance and we are particularly excited how it fits with the Sheerframe system. We've already had a great deal of interest from Sheerframe fabricators and those installing other window system profiles and with in-depth training like this seminar, we are confident our team have the skills to offer the right advice.'

Installers can find more information on the system at

Aztec Training

The potentially complex process oflearning how to build a different conservatory roof system is being simplified, following major investment by Aztec Conservatory Roof Systems.

The company, supplier of conservatory roofs, has introduced a tailor-made training programme for its fabricators, reinforced by the creation of a bespoke training school at its Haydock, Lancashire head office and the appointment of a new technical support and training manager, Rob Small.

The purpose ofthe programme is to give new and existing Aztec customers 'hands-on' education in the fabrication and assembly of an Aztec roof. Trainees will attend a two-day intensive course at the training school, run by Rob, at which they learn the theory of the system and have the opportunity in the extensive practical area to build a roof with skilled Aztec personnel on hand to explain any issues.

The in-house training is supported by subsequent on-site assistance, where Rob Small visits the fabricator's premises to help them set up the processing equipment required to ensure the most efficient roof production.

Rob Small says, 'Our system has been designed to be incredibly simple to fabricate and install- to the extent we find some customers who switch to us from a competitor are sometimes concerned that they are doing it right, because it is so easy to design and put together!

'Our training programme has been developed as the result of in-depth consultation with customers, and our own experience with our growing customer base, to ensure their move into fabricating the Aztec system is as smooth and trouble-free as possible, whether they are completely new to the conservatory market, or switching from an alternative supplier. It also gives existing customers an opportunity to train new staff on the system, and to learn about new refinements to the component range.'

Gordon Cooke, Aztec Conservatory Roof Systems sales manager, adds, 'Rob is technically skilled, and understands the issues facing fabricators and installers in building conservatory roofs. He is an excellent communicator, and will prove a valuable resource to Aztec and its customers, in giving customers the ability to tap into focussed, dedicated technical support so they can fabricate and build the roof as efficiently as possible.'

Tel: 01942 720044

Glass Training Ltd News 77

The Sector Skills Council
for process and manufacturing is back in development. The Board of Glass Training Ltd (GTL) is not yet convinced that total support should be given to Proskills. The costs associated with the development of a sector skills agreement could cost the glass industry several £millions without any real surety that the outcomes will be of benefit to the industry.

Malcolm Berresford Dutton, the chairman of GTL, is playing a leading role in ensuring that the glass industry is not burdened by further layers of Government red tape in the execution of industry training. ‘When we start to understand the logic of the need for Sector Skills Councils they seem to be one step too far in Government intervention into industrial training. We currently recommend that the best option is to put your weight behind GTL as the glass industry national training organisation working closely with Government as it has always done.

‘GTL has a proven record of supporting Government education and training policy. GTL continues to be in the top ten for the implementation of all Government national initiatives. Those employers who could not afford the GTL option are now courting favour with the new SSC not really understanding the implications that Proskills is going to be a really costly venture.

‘Somehow there is a blind logic that Government are going to continue to pay large sums of public money on a continuing basis to prop up a Government manufactured network that generally fails to engage employers. We would suggest you keep us posted on any survey you are asked to complete over the next year so that you remain outside a statutory framework for education and training.’

Personal Development Planning

There are many companies in the glass and fenestration industry that have benefited from GTL’s approach to personal development planning. A personal development plan starts with GTL deciding the ‘management wants’ regarding the skills needed to ensure a continuing profitable development of the business.
Sometimes personal development plans are related to regulatory requirements such as health and safety, environment and a professional requirement to practice, such as construction skills card. Why not discuss your needs with Denise at GTL

Coaching For Results
This is a one day course that is the start of a new way of encouraging and engaging staff in being more focused on the needs and objectives of the business. The cost is £240 per candidate and £90 if you are a full member of GTL.

Foundation Degrees
This new degree provides an award of FdA and FdSc (Foundation degree the Arts and Foundation degree in science respectively). It is a qualification that is designed around what employers need and not just what the higher education institutions want to give employers. The work-based part of a Foundation degree is credited towards the degree in a similar way to achieving an NVQ. The difference is that the Foundation degree expects that the candidate will provide more thinking based evidence on the benefits of a thorough treatment of the knowledge of getting things done in industry.

The degree can commence before registration so that employers and their employees can try out the new approach to development. A progress file is maintained where specific work-based learning tasks and assignments are recorded. These tasks can be normal projects which have to be done in any case as part of a persons development in and for the job. GTL would recommend that a Foundation degree follows on from a level 3 NVQ in management or a glass related qualification. They are designed for technicians who have to do practical work although they are of value to those employees who have to provide a team leader role in an organisation.

Once registered with a higher education institution the costs are around £800 per year for three years delivered in a part time mode of learning. Most of the learning and assessment can be done on the job with sometime spent at a college so that benefits can be gained by working with other learners. Contact if you are interested in this programme.

Support For The Glassex Challenge As The GQA Steps Forward To Sponsor
Following a highly energetic and successful first appearance at Glassex 2004, the Glassex Challenge - which seeks to expose the most talented and committed window, door and conservatory installers in the UK - will not only be back for Glassex 2005 but will also appropriately be sponsored by the Glass Qualifications Authority (GQA).

Experienced LB Team Leaders Score 100% Exam Success

Thirty team Leaders from L.B. Plastics Ltd have shown just how valuable their years of vocational experience is after successfully passing the renowned lnstitute of Learning and Management's qualification, the lntroductory Certificate in First Line Management (Level 3).

The team leaders, who were encouraged by L.B. Plastics to achieve formal recognition for their extensive people skills and supervisory know-how, have a collective 317 years experience behind them, built up in their work throughout the company's main manufacturing facility.

In putting its staff through this training, L.B. Plastics has been one of the first manufacturing companies of its kind in the UK to develop its staff in this way. The company took part in a pilot scheme organised by the Learning & Skills Council and this has been so successful that the programme has now been rolled out nationally.

Producing some of the building industry's leading brand names, including Sheerframe windows, doors and curtain walling, Sheerline fencing and decking and Hometrim cellular cladding, roofline products and trims, L.B. PLastics is one of the region's leading manufacturing companies. One of the main factors the company puts its success down to is its continuous commitment to investment in staff training and development.

L.B. Plastics' Personnel Manager, Nicola Bird, said: 'We are absolutely thrilled with the 100% success of our team leaders. They are all highly capable supervisors who clearly already possessed all the important skills to do their jobs extremely effectively before they undertook the ILM training.

'With this formal professional qualification they have the perfect platform from which to develop both personally and at work.'

The training took place through a series of four day courses between May and August this year.

Part of the family owned Litchfield Croup, L.B. Plastics employs around 1,000 people at its main production facility and headquarters at Nether Heage in Derbyshire, as well as at its overseas operations in North America, Germany, Poland, and Australasia.

Ultraframe Offers a Total Training Package with its School of Excellence

With demand for conservatories increasing and the number of conservatory roofing options growing all the time, Ultraframe, the designer and manufacturer of conservatory roofing systems, is committed to helping its customers stay at the cutting edge of industry developments. The Ultraframe technical support team offers all Ultraframe fabricators, suppliers and installers specialist training at its School of Excellence.

Ultraframe is leading the way in customer service by offering attendees the opportunity to experience training in technical standards, the latest products and new installation techniques and all free of charge.

Linda Doughty, Marketing Director at Ultraframe, said: 'We recognise that regular technical training is vital to keep fabricators and installers one step ahead of their competitors. At Ultraframe we continue to drive the market through innovation and as part of our total package of quality products and outstanding customer service and support, we offer our partners regular training and development to ensure their ongoing success.'

The School of Excellence offers a series of specialised training modules designed by the industry experts at Ultraframe. Ultraframe users can select training in the areas that will be most beneficial to the work they specialise in. Modules include: Product Awareness, Technical Product Information, Structural Design and Portal Framed Conservatories. Surveyors can access specialised training in conservatory surveying, while fabricators can learn about Ultraframe’s Victorian range in the Roof Fabrication module. Fitters can get hands-on experience while learning installation tips from the experts in Roof Installation.

Philip Wharf, UK Support Manager at Ultraframe, heads up the UK Technical Support Team and the Training Scheme. He commented: 'The Ultraframe technical support team is the most experienced in the industry. We are proud to pass on our specialist knowledge and skills to our customers so that they can maximise the benefits of the innovative Ultraframe product range. We have a fully equipped training centre at our headquarters in Clitheroe and also offer a mobile training unit so that the Ultraframe UK team can support customers anywhere in the country.'

Dan Ward, an independent builder from Wakefield, recently added conservatory installation to his services after he installed his first Uzone roof and loved its fitter-friendly clicklock technology. He attended the Ultraframe School of Excellence to learn more about the Ultraframe product range, which features a product for every application, style, budget and consumer.

Dan Ward said: 'It was great to hear about what Ultraframe offers and what it can do for me as an independent installer. I saw the different styles of conservatories Ultraframe produces and got the opportunity to trial additional products, such as the Ultraselect decorative trim. I also picked up useful installation tips to make my next job even easier and faster to complete. Having attended the course I am confident I can identify my customer’s needs and advise them on a style of Ultraframe conservatory perfect for their home and budget. I really got a lot out of the training and it was completely free!'

Ultraframe suppliers can extend the invitation of free training to their own customers who install Ultraframe roofs. At PBM-DQS, the largest independent fabricator and distributor of conservatory roofing systems in the UK, customers have already been taking advantage of the training at Ultraframe’s School of Excellence. This has in turn had benefits for staff at PBM-DQS. Adrian Williams, Managing Director of Roofing at PBM-DQS, explained: 'We have had great feedback from our customers who have attended Ultraframe’s School of Excellence. They are always grateful that we advised them about the free courses and believe that the training was very worthwhile. We find that when our customers have attended Ultraframe training sessions they have a better understanding of the Ultraframe product range and its technological benefits. They also have increased confidence in the Ultraframe product and in the strong technical back up that the Ultraframe support team are on hand to provide. This ultimately makes our job of dealing with our customers simpler. It’s a win-win situation.'

Ultraframe installers who are members of the Ultraframe Registered Installers Scheme already attend the School of Excellence on an annual basis. The Ultraframe Scheme is the most comprehensive and robust scheme of quality accreditation in the industry. As part of their membership to the Scheme installers are required to re-sit their assessment test at the School of Excellence each year.

They also attend a day of practical training which ensures they are always aware of the latest technologically advanced and innovative Ultraframe products to offer their customers. The regular training and assessment are vital to ensure every scheme member, having passed the scheme’s stringent vetting criteria, continues to deliver the highest quality installations and customer service.

Linda Doughty continued: 'Both the School of Excellence and the Registered Installer Scheme are prime examples of Ultraframe’s drive to promote the highest standards of workmanship and professional service in the conservatory industry. They demonstrate Ultraframe’s commitment to supporting its customers with the best after-sales service and technical support in the industry.'

To arrange your customised training session at the Ultraframe School of Excellence please call 01200 422262

Busiest Bygone Conference yet, held at Cranfield

Partnership, professionalism and passion were the themes underlying the fourth Masterframe Bygone Preferred Installers (BPI) network conference. Held in conjunction with the Cranfield School of Management, and attended by nearly 50 of its specialist vertical slider installers, the two-day conference was all about challenging traditional ways of doing things, spearheaded by the idea: ‘If you always do what you have always done, you'll always get the same results.’

Designed to maximise future sales and profits of the delegates' businesses, presentations from experts were broad ranging and covered many general business disciplines, including niche marketing, branding, customer service, and internet marketing together with more specific issues relevant to Bygone installers, such as the latest product developments, unique technical features and window energy ratings achievable by Masterframe's products.

In between the presentations were plenty of opportunities for break out sessions where delegates spent time putting into practice what they'd learnt as well as sharing experiences and ideas with other sliding sash window installation companies.

Masterframe Managing Director, Alan Burgess was delighted with how the conference went: ‘It was a great experience for everyone involved, and customer feedback once again endorsed our decision to invest so much time, money and effort in organising this fourth Bygone conference.

‘We work closely with our preferred installer network all year round, but having the opportunity to spend two days with each of them in a learning environment always proves mutually valuable. Through these discussions we can learn far more about the bigger issues facing our installers and can discuss direct ways to support them. In return they get to hear top class, professional speakers, as well as having the opportunity to learn from the shared ideas to help their businesses grow profitably.’

If you think your business would benefit from attending a business growth seminar, call Sonia Smith or Alan Burgess at Masterframe on 01376 510410 and they will be pleased to send you ‘The Facts’.


Totally Committed to Training

Total Glass has launched its own fabricator training facility. The company, one of Profile 22's largest fabricators, established the Total Training School in response to a growing skills shortage generally, and more specifically to maintain its reputation for supplying a quality product within short lead times.

Already acknowledged within the industry for promoting NVQ achievement, Total Glass has long recognised the need for, and value of, a well-trained workforce. The dedicated four-week fabricator training scheme operates all year-round and is already having a beneficial impact on the business.

Managing Director Frank Deary is a firm believer in the value of training, saying: ‘We manufacture a quality window and with our current quality systems in place, our workforce need to understand and comply with these. Our recruits have no previous experience in fabrication, but after an intensive four-week training programme, they are ready to join their shopfloor colleagues at the factory pace.
‘We are noticing the impact on quality, and with our emphasis on a fast turnaround, it is vital we have staff who are fully trained and know what they're doing.’

After learning about all aspects of window fabrication and Health and Safety, trainees receive a certificate confirming their attendance and are then eligible to progress onto Total's established NVQ training programme.

Frank adds: ‘We believe our training facility is the first of its kind in the industry and is certainly helping us to maintain the product quality and service for which we are renowned.’

The launch of the training initiative coincides with major developments for Total Glass as it prepares to move to a new £3 million site early next year. The 100,000 sq ft factory at Knowsley near Liverpool, is thought to be the biggest industrial building currently under construction in the Merseyside area.

Sustained year on year growth of more than 25% year in both its trade and commercial sectors has prompted the move for Total Glass, which is rapidly outgrowing its existing 60,000 sq ft premises against current market trend.

The move will be completed in phases to minimise any impact on production. Frank adds: ‘We are not planning a closedown and fabrication will continue in both factories to maintain our service to customers until we are settled in the new factory.’

Tel: 0151 549 2339

Move Over Harry Potter There's a new Wizard in Town

Merlin UK has opened its new training facility for the window industry in Oldham. Merlin, working in partnership with Remploy, provides all aspects of training for the window industry.

The Centre of Excellence provides a purpose built training facility for among other things installation training.

The workshop area has building apertures into which different window combinations can be installed from casements to curtain walling.

The well equipped classroom area is used to reinforce the practical teaching.

The course content covers all aspects of survey & installation and is tailored to suit the individual business.

The courses can also lead to NVQ Level 2 qualifications for the successful candidates.

In addition to this Merlin provides training in health & safety for the CSCS card scheme which contractors now need to work on site.

Tel: 0161 439 5557

The Glass National Training Organisation, Glass Training Limited, Launches its ‘Glassmark Quality Scheme’

The Glass national training organisation, Glass Training Limited, launched its ‘Glassmark Quality Scheme’ at its Annual General Meeting in Stone, Staffordshire on the 5th October 2004.

A G Glass in Barnsley, a leading sealed window manufacturer, is the first company to achieve the standard.

The purpose of this new organisational quality assessment process is to encourage more employers to set and achieve standards of competence in the glass and fenestration industry that are of real benefit to all, employees, customers, and suppliers. It recognises an organisation for its commitment to work with the glass national training organisation to achieve success for all.

John Spiby the Managing Director of A G Glass says ‘the Quality Glassmark will help the sector to raise the profile of skills that lead to a high performance work organisation. A G Glass has a continuous improvement programme that ensures all employees are given support to develop their skills to meet national occupational standards’.

The criteria for an organisation to display the Glassmark is evidence of the following:

• Developing its workforce to improve quality of service.
• Employees are involved in formal workplace learning.
• Employees are encouraged to reach their level of competence and potential through externally verified vocational or academic qualifications.
• Contribute to the glass national training organisation to ensure the industry meets its obligations to Government and remains World class.
• Are dedicated to quality customer service.

The benefits of the scheme are:-

• External recognition that you are a quality organisation.
• A well-developed workforce.
• Improved productivity.
• Improved customer service.
• Employee satisfaction.

The Glass national training organisation is recognised by the Government in the four nations of the UK. It has a responsibility to encourage firms to train their workforce to raise and maintain standards.

Malcolm Berresford-Dutton the Chairman of the Glass national training organisation says that ‘the Glassmark is an initiative to explain to the public that the glass sector cares for its people enough to ensure they are given every opportunity to be qualified to do their jobs to the highest standard. We intend the Quality Mark to be a gold standard that customers can rely on, knowing that an organisation does support its employees to learn how to make a success of the work they do.’

'The Glass national training organisation is supported by all the glass manufacturers and the leading fenestration companies in the UK. It is in touch with over 10,000 glass and fenestration firms and intends to support smaller firms with equal determination as larger companies.

'The real benefit of the Glassmark is to develop a strong family spirit within the sector to do things together that will benefit all stakeholders.'

Now Architects can Learn and Earn at GP&T 2005

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has awarded Continual Professional Development (CPD) status to Glass Processing & Technology (GP&T), the UK glass industry’s only dedicated exhibition and conference event. This is the first time that such accreditation has been given to a whole event rather than its seminar or conference section, and represents a huge boost for GP&T, which enjoys its second staging in May 2005.

Continuing Professional Development is the requirement shared by chartered RIBA members to fulfil a programme of on-going training and gain new knowledge each year. Each chartered member of the RIBA is required to achieve a fixed number of points and hours annually in the pursuit of personal development, with RIBA CPD Providers Network seminars and training courses considered an important part of the requirement. As GP&T is recognised per se, RIBA members need only to attend the event to qualify for CPD points, although the seminar programme will be developed to ensure attendance by architects.
Joni Tyler, Head of Continuing Professional Development for the RIBA, commented:

‘The RIBA is delighted to be working with EMAP Maclaren on GP&T 2005 and we are happy to accredit the event as eminently valid RIBA CPD as part of our Providers Network. We feel confident that our members and other specifiers will get a great deal out of attending GP&T 2005 and we look forward to working with EMAP on other GP&T initiatives.’

A major new event that combined over 100 exhibition stands and a comprehensive programme of seminars and forums, GP&T 2003 was a success, achieving a high level of attendance from architects and other specifiers of glass related products, even winning a prestigious exhibition industry trophy for being the best trade show to be launched during 2003. Its seminar and conference programme was one of the main contributors to this success, incorporating a wide range of interests and subjects and involving a number of key industry organisations.

EMAP Maclaren plans to enhance the appeal of the GP&T seminar programme still further for the 2005, concentrating on the most up-to-date glazing regulations, trends and the very latest in glazing technology development. Event Manager Stephen Redman comments:

‘We wanted the GP&T 2003 seminar programme to truly reflect the versatility of architectural glass, the huge advances that have taken place in glass technology over the last few years and the issues facing the glass industry. The fact that we have now been accredited by the RIBA proves the worth of the event and establishes its credentials. We have achieved our first goal – now we want to focus on the next level and create an even better opportunity for architects and specifiers to learn about the possibilities of glass at GP&T 2005.’

GP&T 2005 will take place from 17th to 19th May 2005 inclusive at the NEC, Birmingham.

Wizard Teaching Window Installers

Merlin UK has recently been commissioned to deliver window installer training for one forward thinking London Borough. The new initiative to get local people back into work was organised as part of a Partnering arrangement between the Local Authority and the two main contractors involved in the window replacement programme.

Merlin UK in partnership with Remploy was asked to deliver a training course to 12 long term unemployed people. The goal was to train the candidates to be window fitter's mates so that they had basic training to help contribute to the work being carried out on site by fitting teams.In addition to window installation training they were also put through a Health & Safety programme to give them the knowledge to sit the CSCS examination. 75% of the candidates passed and have gone on to get their trainee CSCS card. This will help them to get work in the construction sector where the Major Contractors Group is insisting that all personnel who work on site have CSCS cards.

The training was linked to NVQ level 2 in Fenestration Surveying and Installation and the candidates are now on their way to obtaining the NVQ via ongoing site assessment.

Five people are now in self-employment as a result of the Partnering arrangement and are now contributing to the local economy.

CPD Seminars for Busy Professionals

Freefoam Plastics is a member of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) CPD Providers Network authorised to provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to architects, specifiers and other professionals in the construction industry.

Entitled Design and Installation Considerations for the use of PVC-UE for Roofline and Cladding, the seminar takes approx 45 minutes and covers key points in specifying cellular foam boards for fascia, soffit and cladding for new build and refurbishment projects.

As well as presenting to individuals and organisations, Freefoam also presents its CPD seminar as part of a series of one-day regional exhibitions run by events company Direct Contact Exhibitions (DCE). Three recent DCE exhibitions were held at venues in Bristol and Oldham as well as in the sporting setting of Blackburn Football Club. All events were well attended by local specifiers from Housing Associations, private practices, local authorities and building contractors.

Kevin Reed, Freefoam New Build & Specification Manager, comments, ‘The DCE exhibitions route offers busy professionals a chance to attend up to five CPD seminars in a day and talk to various companies in a small exhibition environment which can be very productive’.

For more information or to book a CPD seminar, contact Freefoam on 01604 759871 in the UK, 021 4911055 in Ireland, or email

Training Centre Proves Perfect Test-Bed for New Pilkington Activ Optilam™

The partial re-glazing of a training centre used by Pilkington employees nationwide has provided the company with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of its new Pilkington Activ Optilam™ Brown self-cleaning glass.

Pilkington Activ Optilam™ Brown is a safety glass product with a tinted interlayer and designed primarily for commercial applications. The glazed areas of the training centre have been fitted with the new glass, providing improved safety and security measures as well as reducing cleaning and maintenance costs.

The training centre is based at Pilkington Plyglass in Derbyshire, one of Pilkington’s 21 UK branches and a specialist in solar and thermal control solutions. The 300m2 training centre is used regularly by Pilkington employees from across the UK and is heavily glazed to allow for maximum daylight to enter the room. However, sun-glare through the glazed areas sometimes made the room too uncomfortably bright for trainees.

It was decided that re-glazing the training centre using Pilkington Activ Optilam™ Brown self-cleaning glass would be both the ideal solution to the problem and a good opportunity to display the potential of the product to customers as an excellent commercial glazing solution. The 6.4mm laminated Pilkington Activ Optilam™ glass in Bronze finish was used for the windows in the centre. The new glass not only dramatically reduces cleaning and maintenance as well as sun glare but also provides greater strength and security with its tinted interlayer.

Geoff Hancock, Sales Manager at Pilkington Plyglass, explains the impact that the re-glazing has had upon visitors to the training centre:
‘Because the actual vision area is the only part of the centre that has been re-glazed with Pilkington Activ Optilam™ Brown - the central spandrels are still standard glass – the comparison between the two is immediately striking. Commercial specifiers who have previously been sceptical as to whether the self-cleaning glass actually works have come here to view the area and have been amazed by what they’ve seen. It’s quite an eye-opener for them.’

Developed in the UK by Pilkington and launched following extensive field and laboratory testing, Pilkington Activ™ literally keeps itself clean by harnessing the two natural elements of ultra violet light and rain. The technology uses UV light to break down organic dirt deposits on the glass, then uses the rain to wash away the loosened dirt away.

Suitable for commercial applications and local authority projects including schools and hospitals amongst others, Pilkington Activ Optilam™ is available in several different tinted finishes for increased comfort and safety.


K2 'Installs' Knowledge at QUB

K2, UK conservatory manufacturer, has hosted a series of lectures at Queens University Belfast as part of the European Masters Course in Polymer Processing.

The European Masters Course is hosted by the Pau and Doui Universities in France, the Zaragoza University in Spain and the Queens University Belfast. It entails 17 students from Spain, Mexico and the Dominican Republic studying different aspects of polymer processing for a period of three months at each of the participating institutions.

This is the second year that K2 has been asked to host a series of lectures on the European Masters Course and is a direct result of its progressive Knowledge Transfer Partnership Scheme (KTP) with Queens University's Polymer Processing Research Centre. As part of the scheme, K2's technical department is able to utilise the skills of some of the UK's most talented academics to conduct extensive research on potential new products, while the academics at Queens University gain knowledge from K2 on the challenges that businesses face.

Keith Halliwell, Extrusions Manager at K2, and Jonathan Yap, an Associate on placement at the company, conducted a series of four lectures on the processes involved with profile extrusion.

On completion of the lectures, the students were able to gain 'hands-on' experience of extrusion processing through a practical workshop, which involved the students working together in groups to construct three miniature sized K2 conservatory roofs, while examples of K2's extrusion equipment were on display around the lecture room.

'We were delighted to be invited back to Queens University for the second year, to take part in such an innovative course, including students from a range of countries', commented Keith Halliwell, Extrusions Manager at K2. 'We hope that the students were able to gain both theoretical knowledge of extrusion through the lectures, but also practical experience through the erection of miniature conservatory roofs.'

Professor Raymond Murphy, Director of the Polymer Processing Research Centre comments: 'We are pleased that K2 has returned to give a second series of lectures at Queens University Belfast, after the popularity of their workshops last year. They are able to demonstrate to students how the theory of extrusion can be applied in practice to a company, as well as providing information on the real world challenges and issues faced by businesses.'

Tel: 01204 554554

Glass Training Ltd Newsletter 73

The highlights of this GTL Newsletter include the news that the HSE has launched a new safety blitz. Also, GTL is calling for entries for its Industry Awards to be presented at the GTL AGM.

HSE Launches New Safety Blitz
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a new 'blitz' to crack down on unsafe practices in the construction industry.

GTL Industry Awards
‘We would like to celebrate these individuals in our sector for their valuable contribution and present them with an award at our AGM. Please let me have the names, age and job title of a person who has done something rather special for you to progress education, training or learning in your company. It could be that this person has received exceptional results at college, university or supported by a private provider. It could simply be someone who has helped others to gain qualifications or made a significant contribution to the worth of your company. The important criteria is that you feel the employee should be recognised for their endeavour. The deadline date for entries is 16th July 2004. Please email

Firms Open To Job Fraudsters

More than a third of small businesses do not check the references of job applicants and so risk hiring someone who is not who they say they are, new research reveals.

Dealing with difficult people
If we listen to difficult people we will gain their interest, once you have gained their interest you can use their skills. Often really difficult people are the ones who get things done. If they weren’t we would have given them the ‘push’ long ago.

Gender Pay Gap 'Wider Than Official Data'
The pay gap between men and women is wider than official figures show, new research claims.

GTL Annual Report – Success Stories
‘Please let me have a short case study of an initiative that you have taken over the last twelve months regarding training that has improved your business performance or provided for a need to ensure your continuing viability as a company. I would be grateful if you could let me have a colour digital photograph to support your text around 100 words. The photograph can be of a product, but better still your employees involved in the work you do, including the names and job titles of those involved. The deadline date for final copy is the 16th July 2004. Please email or post copies to Glass Training Ltd, Riverdale House, 89 Graham Road, Sheffield S10 3GP.’

People Make The Difference
Its no use people being flexible if they are not useful. Employees will be more useful if they are trained in the art of working with their employers to a common purpose. Ever thought of your firm being an effective learning organisation where things get done right first time every time? Please contact

New Glazing Installation and Maintenance Standards
GTL is now reviewing the current Glazing Installation and Maintenance Level 2 & 3 standards and qualifications. This project is being jointly overseen by Glass Training Ltd (the Standards Setting Body for the Glass Industry) and CITB-Construction Skills. The Glass and Glazing Federation is also a member of the Steering Group, along with the Glass Qualifications Authority. A number of glazing companies are also represented.

The project is very keen to involve as many employers, training and development providers, and practitioners as possible, to ensure that the next generation of the standards and qualifications fit the needs of the sector. GTL will provide a number of ways in which you can help, but to do so we need you to register for the project.
Complete the registration form now, and GTL will contact you within a couple of weeks to provide you with more information.

New Apprenticeships Will Widen Opportunity And Boost Business
More young people will get the opportunity to learn skills under radical reforms to Apprenticeships announced by Education and Skills Secretary Charles Clarke and the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. Announcing the new ‘Young Apprenticeships’ Mr Clarke said that the reforms will be a major boost to business and productivity. Working through the Sector Skills Councils, employers will also be put in the driving seat in terms of the design and development of Apprenticeships.

Discussions About Lifelong Learning Networks
The LSC is looking with partners at ways of increasing vocational and workplace progression to higher education. The Council, along with the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Department for Education and Skills, is exploring the scope for developing Lifelong Learning Networks – groups of providers across a city or region to offer new progression opportunities to learners.

Between now and the autumn, LSC regional directors and HEFCE regional consultants will be discussing the proposals with providers, higher education institutions and others with a view to developing ‘pilots’ or ‘demonstrators’.

Senior Management Development

If you want to improve the performance of your business you need to develop your managers. A number of Managing Directors have recently completed the Level 5 in Strategic Management. John Spiby, Managing Director of AG Glass has completed his NVQ at Level 5. When he started he thought NVQs were for operatives he now realises what a powerful development process gaining an NVQ is. He said that the personal involvement in reflecting on what he already knew and could do has helped him to reposition his plans and actions in getting things done more effectively for the future. Why not enrol your managers on the GTL Management Development Programme? Please contact

Glass Training Ltd Newsletter 72

The highlights of the latest GTL Newsletter include the news that The Board of Glass Training Ltd will consider the proposal put forward by the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) to form a Sector Skills Council for the process and manufacturing industries.

The Board of Glass Training Ltd will consider the proposal put forward by the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) to form a Sector Skills Council for the process and manufacturing industries. To go forward the SSDA has requested that employers contribute over £16million in the next three years. The glass industry has already made significant improvements to productivity over the last ten years and do not feel it is realistic to make this further investment in the development of its people.

This isn’t the end of the road as the SSDA has to support GTL as it continues to be the national training organisation for the glass and fenestration sector. What needs to happen is for all employers to pull together and make a success of GTL. Those who need to influence the GTL Board decision in June should contact Alan Hearsum the Chief Executive by email: or Tel: 0114 2632429.

Julia Warne’s Retirement
'Julia is retiring from Glass Training Ltd this year. Julia has been with GTL for over 21 years and has made an excellent contribution to sector training in the glass and related industry. We will all miss the work she has done on behalf of all employers to ensure we remain a non-statutory organisation. She has also contributed to the lives of many people by ensuring that our learning for all policy has been implemented. I am sure you will want to make sure she gets a good send off at the AGM on 5th October 2004. Please let us know if you would like to be included at the AGM in October,’ contact

'GTL has over the last ten years developed a whole suite of qualifications to suit all level of employees in the glass industry. At the highest level we have our MSc in glass management, Foundation Degree in manufacturing systems, HNC and National Certificate in glass process technology, City and Guilds in glass manufacture, NVQs/SVQs in glass related qualifications. We are also a centre for management qualifications at Level 2, 3, 4 and 5 and provide qualifications in warehousing and performing manufacturing operations. Please use GTL to qualify your workforce,’ contact

Health and Safety Development
Sending people on health and safety courses will help but it will not change the way people act in the workplace. Contact for information on GTL’s development programme.

Contract with University for Industry
GTL is developing a contract to deliver online courses from learndirect. If you would like a list of the courses that are relevant to your company contact The modules cost around £17 each.

Foundation Degrees
All your employees who have a Level 2 and are working towards a Level 3 NVQ/SVQ can get a University Degree. Anyone who can benefit from a university education can take part. Employees do not need to leave the workplace to qualify. At the end of the programme you can put fdA or fdSc behind your name. These are recognised qualifications. Please contact for more information.

The Main Drivers of Success

Window and Door System manufacturer HW Plastics recently held a training day for the drivers of the company's 20+ delivery vehicles. Transport has recently been brought in house after four years during which it was subcontracted to a third party transport provider. The drivers assigned to HW Plastics by that company are now HW Plastics employees. The training day was an important part of the change over process.

'Taking direct control of the fleet gives us greater control over the business,' says Harry McClurg, HW Plastics Logistics Director. 'The training day explained how the whole business works, how the different parts link together and how key the driver's role is in achieving substantial and substained success. Our drivers are our ambassadors; they meet our customers face to face over 70,000 times a year. Now the drivers are HW Plastics employees the link between their performance and their prosperity is even stronger.

'Service is paramount in our industry. Delivering products to our customers on time and in full is not something we must merely strive for; it is basic requirement if we are to see profits and growth.'

'We had a few laughs,' says Harry, 'but there was a serious purpose behind the day. I am sure everyone went home better informed and motivated.'

Tel: 01625 420400

Glass Training Ltd Newsletter 71

The latest GTL Newsletter includes the news that small businesses in six areas in England are set to benefit from £190 million, thanks to the expansion of the Learning and Skills Council’s Employer Training Pilots (ETPs). Also the cost to people and businesses in Europe of clearing up after viruses and Spam will total Euro 9 billion (£6 billion) by the end of year.

Six New Areas For Employer Training Pilots Named
The Chancellor, Gordon Brown, announced that small businesses in six areas in England are set to benefit from £190 million, thanks to the expansion of the Learning and Skills Council’s ground-breaking Employer Training Pilots (ETPs). For more information visit this link

Widening Participation
Proskills has been asked to help employers widen the participation in learning. GTL is keen to help Proskills by registering an employee on a Learning Pathway for free and attempt to get the ‘GTL Learning Pathway’ funded by the public funding organisations in one of the four Nations in the UK. For more information please contact

Experts Anticipate Spam Surge
The cost to people and businesses in Europe of clearing up after viruses and Spam will total Euro 9 billion (£6 billion) by the end of year and will keep rising, an IT consulting firm warns. For more information visit this link

Sustainable Assessments
Assessment in the workplace efficiently carried out by a team leader or supervisor should raise levels of productivity. GTL will help firms to develop their supervising staff or key workers as assessors to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the workplace. Contact for more information.

Factory Output Slows Against Expectations
Speculation about a fresh interest rate hike cooled today as official figures revealed a set back for manufacturing recovery hopes. For more information visit this link

Rally Highlights 'Haemorrhaging Of Factory Jobs'
Trade unions organised a rally to highlight falling job numbers in one of the UK's manufacturing heartlands. The large demonstration of workers and employee representatives was held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, an area traditionally known for its factories. For more information please visit this link

Project Management
The NVQ/SVQ Level 4 in management includes Project Management. GTL can provide learning guidance at a distance for this NVQ/SVQ. This is done through a novel method using photographic and audio evidence. For further information please contact

School Links
If you start a link with a Secondary School you will be able to encourage young people to join your company later. You could lay on work experience that will give a student an understanding of what it takes to be an employee in your company. Working closely with schools will help you to develop a programme that suits your needs and could lead to a young person joining your company when they leave school.

SSDA – Sector Skills Development Agency
The Government has introduced the SSDA instead of re-introducing statutory industry training. GTL needs your interest in this organisation. Please browse their website

Construction Skills Cards (CSCS)
Those employers who work on main contractors sites will need CSCS cards for the work done related to the job/project. Managers, designers, surveyors, fitters, installers, visitors to site all need CSCS cards. GTL can help, please email

GGF Fact Sheet - Some Help With Your Training Needs

The GGF’s Training Committee is able to help its members in the following ways:

• Supplying information about training providers in your area.
• Working to develop NVQ’s and training programmes to meet this industry’s needs
• Finding funding sources to assist you with the cost that can be incurred when making training available to your staff.
• Offering support in identifying training needs that would benefit your company.

A well trained professional workforce gives you more a professional edge over the competition as well as reducing the number of expensive mistakes.

Why not join the GGF and benefit from training aimed at our industry.

Tel: 0870 042 4255

Hardware Specification Made Easy with Siegenia

Hardware and ventilation manufacturer Siegenia-Aubi Ltd is focusing on education and training through its involvement in the Construction Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Certification Service.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) CPD certification service was established to encourage the provision and assist in the dissemination of high quality and independently certified continuing personal/professional development training across a range of market sectors.

Following a successful launch at the RIBA London headquarters in November 2003, Siegenia-Aubi will be offering architects and specifiers the opportunity to learn more about window hardware, its application and environmental implications. The 45-minute seminar can be delivered at architects’ and local authority offices and includes a hands-on demonstration of the workings of a tilt and turn window.

The RIBA CPD Certification Service was established to help professionals in the manufacturing and service sectors enhance their skills and knowledge on a wide range of technical and business-related subjects.

All material is certified for CPD purposes by a panel of assessors following industry-wide CPD guidelines and, once certified, events and material considered suitable for CPD purposes carry a nationally recognised CPD Certified approval mark.

Says Léann Hearne, Siegenia-Aubi general manager, ‘Through our CPD activities we will address the difficulties associated with the specification of window and door hardware, providing objective information and advice to construction professionals to help avoid quality being compromised in the construction process.’

Tel: 024 7662 2000

Securistyle Helps Local Police with their Enquiries into Secured by Design

Window hardware manufacturer, Securistyle, has been helping local police officers with their enquiries.

Securistyle, whose products are widely specified by local authorities and housing associations, invited 28 architectural liaison officers from Avon & Somerset and Gloucestershire constabularies to the firm's factory in Cheltenham to learn more about the issues surrounding the safety and security of window hardware.

The architectural liaison officers have a special interest in improving the security of housing developments through the 'Secured by Design' (SBD) initiative. Securistyle, which holds the SBD licence, provided a demonstration of the BS7950 window security test which is performed on all products if they are to meet the SBD standard.

Peter Naish, Force Architectural Liaison Officer at Avon & Somerset Police said: 'lt is our responsibility to inspect sites and award the Secured by Design licence, so it is important that the inspections are consistent across all areas. It was really useful to see all the product testing that is involved and to learn more about the importance of hinges, handles and locks in the safety and security of the entire window.'

Securistyle's Mike Witherspoon said: 'This was an excellent opportunity to share best practice and to highlight the importance of specifying good quality hardware
components to ensure the overall operation, safety and security of a window.'

Securistyle hardware also meets the Building Life Plan's component life manual recommendations for 25-year component durability. The product range provides the capability to exceed the current standards relating to child safety, emergency egress and security, and is manufactured under the BS EN 1S0 9001:2000 Quality Management System as approved by the BSI.

Contact: Maria Fatica
Tel: 01242 221200

For more details of the Secured By Design Award visit the SBD website at

Eurocell Pinnacle Roof Training Day

Eurocell has just run a number of intensive training courses for its staff at the company’s Pinnacle Roof Headquarters, run by Pinnacle Fabrications Manager, Matt Rick, and Pinnacle Development Manager Fraser Watt. After initial feedback the courses have proved to be a success with all attendees benefiting enormously from the further education.

‘Many of our Building Centre staff and fabricator network already know some of the benefits of the Pinnacle Bespoke Conservatory Roofing System, it was a case of refreshing what they already were aware of and explaining some of the new and existing unique features in more detail,’ said Fraser Watt, Eurocell.

Eurocell’s Pinnacle roof was introduced during 2002 to complement the existing ranges of window and door systems as well as plethora of Building Plastics.

Tel:. 01773 842 100