BRADFORD-based Safestyle UK has launched its own academy to train installers new to the industry.

The leading uPVC windows and doors specialist has taken the step in order to combat what it says is a shortage of skilled workers.

As a result its Installer Training Academy will provide a fast-track programme for adult trainees and there will also be a limited number of places for younger trainees.

Michelle Williams of Safestyle said: "As the UK number one, we've always been able to offer a continuous supply of work to the contract network. But the industry needs people and we are continuing to grow, so that is why we are doing this - to build our own talent and get some new people into the industry. The skills shortage is the biggest hindrance to growth for all of the players in the market."

She added: "We are starting off with the aim of having 30 people on the programme and are currently in the recruitment phase. So far we have around 150 applications and we are just about to start screening. Ideally we are looking for a mix of ages and geographic locations."

She described how 90 per cent of the training will be on the job, with the remaining 10 per cent in the classroom. Every three months there will be a short assessment, and the programme is designed to take 12 months, but can be completed more quickly by particularly able candidates.

She added that Safestyle's installers are usually self-employed, but the training programme will offer a 12 month paid contract, and at the end the trainee will be able to competently fit a basic installation of windows and doors.

In addition there will be guaranteed work with Safestyle as a self-employed installer for successful trainees at the end.

She added: "We need more people in the industry and someone has to start training. We've got high expectations of what we want our people to deliver for our customers, So we can't have those expectation if we don't put the investment into training."

The firm, which has its head office in Manningham, has been manufacturing and installing windows and doors since 1992.

It has more than 50 locations across the country and a dedicated manufacturing facility in South Yorkshire.

No prior experience is necessary to become a trainee with the firm.

Safestyle says all people need are: "an interest in following a career in window fitting, an appreciation of good customer service, the ability to be physically active all day, and a positive attitude".

In addition the firm also has opportunities for new lead installers who are interested in making a difference and training the next generation of their trade.

Last week Safestyle announced its strongest financial performance since the second half of 2017, with revenue of £73.0m and gross profit of £23.5m for the first half of 2021.

Applications for a place in the Safestyle Installer Academy, or to be a lead installer, should be sent to Emma Robinson at