Glass industry occupations apprenticeship

Glass takes many more forms than just windows. It can be stretched into threads for broadband cables, strengthened to stop bullets or shaped to magnify objects.

The glass industry is highly technical yet there are many roles where workers skilled in more traditional crafts are required. The industry also deals with recycling and energy efficiency and is one of the most environmentally important in the UK. In the face of increased competition, advancing technology, legislation and environmental issues, employers will require appropriately trained employees to help them to prepare for the future and improve productivity.

The glass industry covers the manufacture of both flat and hollow glass and of glass fibres. It also involves the shaping and processing of flat glass and other glass, including technical glassware. Additional industries include glazing and curtain walling, manufacture and installation of windows, doors and conservatories, automotive glazing (including mirrors, lights and windscreens), architectural stained glass and stained glass conservation, and photovoltaics.

As an apprentice you could be based in a large, mass production and fabrication plant or in a small, specialised studio designing glass vases. If you like being outdoors and have the ability to work with tools plus good customer skills and attention to detail, you could work in the construction sector, perhaps as a window, conservatory or solar panelling installer in domestic or commercial properties. Those with an interest and skills in design and artwork might choose to work as craft glass workers and stained glass makers. Some roles (e.g. furnace operator and glass blower) will involve working under hot conditions and many jobs are factory based.

In all roles, on the job training is available and most employers are especially interested in applicants who can demonstrate enthusiasm, good communication skills, a positive ‘can do’ attitude and a willingness to work hard and develop new skills and knowledge.

For more information about careers in the glass industry, visit www.proskills.co.uk or www.glassskillsacademy.co.uk.

Level:

Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3)

Starting salary (once qualified):

£14,000–£35,000

Job roles:

Window installer, Curtain walling installer, Conservatory installer, Glazier, Windscreen fitter, Glass processor, Stained glass technician, Solar panel installer

Issuing Authority:

Proskills UK Ltd – email proskills@fisss.org