HWL Windows has developed a series of partnerships with leading colleges to recruit high calibre engineering students into the window and door industry.
Developed following HWL’s support for the Leeds Manufacturing Festival, the specialist fabricator of flush products has formed new partnerships with Leeds City College (LCC) and University Technical College Leeds (UTC).
This includes running ‘manufacturing treks’ where students spend half or a full day touring and working in its aluminium and PVC-U factories, and a commitment to create a new training centre and student classroom on site.
Phil Gray, operations director, HWL Windows, explained: “The kids get the opportunity to see how we operate and to ask questions in a real working environment.
“It’s been massively successful. They’re engaged, they’re asking lots of questions, they want to connect with you on social media after they’ve been. It’s like a switch goes on.”
The new HWL manufacturing school will give students the opportunity to learn about the principles of manufacture from from product design to installation. This includes manufacture of aluminium and PVC-U windows.
Phil added: “It’s about the hands-on experience. Showing them what goes into product. What they fabricate is then going back to the UTC facility where they are being taught about how to install it.”
HWL has also committed to create a series of new apprenticeships offering students the opportunity to gain a formal qualification in fabrication.
It’s decision to partner with local colleges has given HWL a route to students who have already expressed an interest in engineering but who might not have otherwise considered a career in manufacturing.
Phil said that this had also delivered a significant up-tick in the skills base of its recruitment pool.
“When you’re going through a recruiter, you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. You don’t get people who want to do the role.
“With what we’re doing now, we’re getting people with an interest in engineering. They’re coming to us and they already know a little bit about processing, manufacture but the biggest thing is they have a positive attitude towards learning.
“If we can show them how to build window, get them out onto the factory floor, we’re bringing the future leaders of our business into our industry.”