Clearway’s Jeremy Phillips emphasises importance of training as Britain awaits raft of redundancies

Published by Richard Yarrick-Holmes on September 15th 2020, 11:11am

The Daily Telegraph is reporting today that Britain is heading for ‘the highest level of redundancies since the nineties’, as the furlough scheme draws to a close.

This is based on data from The Institute for Employment Studies which estimates that there will be between 450,000 and 700,000 job losses over the coming months.

The looming job losses have prompted Trades Union Congress chief Frances O'Grady to call for further government intervention to stave off redundancies as the furlough scheme lapses.

Yet, such developments may well lead to many people seeking to learn new skills and begin work in new industries. If so we might well see an uptick in training over the coming years.

Writing in The Parliamentary Review, Jeremy Phillips, the managing director of Cheltenham-based Clearway Doors and Windows, explained the huge importance of training and development and how valuable it has been to his organisation over the years.

‘Manufacturing and installing aluminium products is still a skilled practice and any company can only be as good as the staff that it employs. To this end Clearway has

embraced continuous staff training and development. Using a combination of in-house teaching and local training providers has proved vital in improving abilities and developing the younger workforce.

‘Our factory environment has proved to be the ideal springboard for staff who want to develop extra skills and in the past few years we have seen three staff move from the shop floor to take up key roles elsewhere in the company.

‘Of course, that means that we have constantly to nurture and train new employees to fill the gap left behind. Again we have had considerable success in this area. The skills shortage within the construction industry as a whole is still a very real problem faced by almost every sector and is a concern going forward. However, by adapting your strategy you can build for the future.’

‘Experienced labour “on tap” can no longer be relied upon for recruitment, as career window and door fabricators and installers reach retirement. As they disappear from the labour market they leave a void created by neglect of apprenticeships and a perceived lack of glamour within the building industry.

‘We have to get creative if we are to keep up the high skill levels of the previous decades. As employers we have to build an appealing work place and offer career prospects. We need to put as much effort into setting out our stall for new employees as we do for new customers.’

With people working from home, and either unable or reluctant to travel abroad, there has been a huge increase in the demand for home improvements.  

With a well-established skills gap in the manufacturing sector, an increase in demands for some of its services and a huge surge in the unemployment rate, now may well be the opportune moment for individuals to make the move into the sector.

If so, they will hope to find employers with the same passion for training and development as Phillips. 


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Authored By

Richard Yarrick-Holmes
Associate Editor
September 15th 2020, 11:11am

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