Atlas Glazed Roof Solutions is helping to tackle the industry’s shortage of skilled labour and inspire young talent into a career in fenestration. Under its commitment to support industry progression, the company has donated two full-sized glazed roof lanterns, which will be used to provide apprentices with essential practical training at two top fenestration learning centres.

The contemporary Atlas roof lanterns have been specially made for West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmonds and Total Support Training in Middlesex. Both centres provide a range of specialist courses from GQA Qualifications – a leading awarding body for glass, fenestration and construction.

Gareth Thomas, sales director at Atlas Glazed Roof Solutions, explains: “Our industry has been re-invigorated with some truly innovative new products but, sadly, it is still hindered by a shortage of skilled people to install them. We want to bring more passion in to the industry and boost its professionalism by inspiring young people to join the industry and stay in it. We can’t think of a better way to breed new talent than through practical training and we’re delighted to donate these roof lanterns which will help the apprentices to develop their installation skills.

As part of their Level 1, 2 or 3 training in Fenestration Installation and Fenestration Surveying, the apprentices will develop their installation skills by fitting a number of products – including the Atlas lantern – into purpose-built 3×3 metre pods. The pods were previously used in the Master Fitter Challenge at this year’s FIT Show and have also been donated to the colleges.

Mick Clayton, chief executive officer at GQA Qualifications, added: “GQA has long highlighted the skills gap within fenestration and industry support for our approved centres is vital to ensure that practical training facilities are available. It’s fantastic to see Atlas making this investment and commitment with West Suffolk College and Total Support Training and I look forward to seeing the facilities in use.”

GQA Qualifications provides training courses at more than 70 centres throughout the UK, including West Suffolk College and Total Support Training.

Tim Warnock, programme manager at West Suffolk College, said: “Practical training is fundamental to our apprentices, providing them with the vital skills and confidence to become highly qualified installers and surveyors. For many apprentices, the only way they could learn about how to fit products was in a real-life installation, which was understandably a daunting experience for them.

“With these pods, the students can practice installing products and not be afraid to make mistakes – not that we anticipate many with the Atlas roof which is known to be a fitter’s dream to install! It will certainly show our apprentices that well-designed, modern fenestration products aren’t necessarily complicated to work with.”

Sharon Alderton, managing director of Total Support Training, added: “I’ve been working with many specialist suppliers across the industry and we all agree that there’s a wide skills gap to fill. We are committed to capturing youngsters and encouraging them into this industry, so we’re very excited about our brand new training facility which is just about to open in Milton Keynes. It will be equipped with a modern classroom and two training pods, which will include fitter-friendly products like the Atlas lantern. This investment in our future talent will help to combat the skills shortage and raise professional standards in the industry.”

To find out more about the Atlas range of Contemporary Lanterns, contact Atlas on 02838 327741 or visit www.atlasroofsolutions.co.uk.