A commercial installer is warning other companies not to ‘take on too much work’ after revealing it turned down major tendering opportunities because of the shortage of skilled fitters.

David Thornton, chair of The Window Company (Contracts) said that for the first time ever, the company had deliberately not pitched for some CIF funded school contracts over the summer because it would find it challenging to find the workers to handle the extra volume and could put existing work at risk by trying.

“While it goes against every entrepreneurial instinct to turn down work, we think it’s the right decision for our business,” he said, “Time and again we see good companies fail simply because they overstretch themselves and while there is insufficient skilled labour in the market, that could become a very real danger for some.”

He added: “For the first time ever, we have turned down the opportunity to tender for some of the CIF funded work available in schools over the summer because we don’t believe it will benefit our business in the short to medium term.

“We pride ourselves on being a good company to work for and our rates of pay and benefits package are amongst the best in the industry, but we would still find it challenging to find enough resource to cope with significant extra volumes at this point.

“All our existing teams are fully occupied with ongoing contracts and pre-planned schools work, and we won’t jeopardise existing work just for the sake of additional volume.

He said he believes the Chelmsford-based business is the optimal size at the moment and still has the capacity for growth but added: “We are realistic about current state of the labour market, and we are becoming increasingly selective about the additional work we take on.”


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