Mackenzie Glass hosted a series of glass-industry training days aimed at supporting industry up-skilling, at its Bristol headquarters earlier this month.
Designed to build understanding of the performance and applications different types of glass and glass processes, the training and skills days were aimed at newer entrants to the sector, as Mark Herbert, Joint Managing Director, Mackenzie Glass explained.
“The days have been targeted at newer entrants to the sector. For example, people with six to 18-months experience, who have perhaps developed a modest knowledge but could benefit from more structured learning.”
Presented in partnership with NSG Pilkington and delivered by its training team, the course provides an introduction to glass and an understanding of the processes which change its performance, for example toughening, and the applications of that glass.
“Mackenzie Glass genuinely want to work with and support like-minded business who recognise and value the investment in good product knowledge and correct specifications, nowadays with a myriad of products on the market offering a vast array of solutions it is imperative to understand and promote the correct and often valued added products from UK Manufacturers in particular.”
The one-day training sessions included a tour of the Mackenzie facility. The uptake has been so strong that 3 days have been arranged to accommodate customers with a total of 12 -14 places filled on each. Participants traveled from across the South West, Wales and the Channel Islands.
The schedule for the day went as follows:
09.00 am – Welcome with coffee and introductions
09.15 am – Phil Brown to present the PK1 training with refreshment break
12.00 pm – Buffet Lunch
12.45 pm – Factory Tour of Mackenzie Glass in two, small groups, led by Matt Prowse and Mark Herbert
01.45 pm – Training continues with refreshment break
04.00 pm – Round up of the day Q and A
04.15 pm – Safe journey homeward bound in time to beat the Bristol traffic!
With an engaging presentation by Phil Brown, Technical Advisory Service Manager, NSG Pilkington, the course delivered an overview of how different glass-types are made, their application and the processes which can be applied to them to expand the range of those applications.
Those who successfully completed training also received a certificate from Pilkington.
Alongside the PK1 course, there are also plans in place to host a PK2 bespoke course for key customers in 2020.
It’s the latest in a series of initiatives launched by the independent glass merchant, in support of industry up-skilling.
This included the creation of the Mackenzie Glass Apprenticeships Journey and recruitment of three new apprentices at the beginning of this year. Partnering with Bristol College and Exeter College, these new recruits are currently going through a combination of on the job training and formal assessment.
Mackenzie Glass has also pledged to continue to recruit to the scheme, so that a minimum of 10% of those who work for it, are current or former apprentices.
Mackenzie Glass was formed at the end of 2017 as stand-alone business and vehicle for the acquisition of Pilkington Bristol from NSG. Though the heritage of the name Mackenzie Glass is one that has a long association with Pilkington and the Cornwall Group.
Announcing that it had returned to profit this summer, Mackenzie Glass is Pilkington’s first Regional Partner, supplying more than 300 tonnes of glass each month alongside other float glass manufacturers.
“Our partnership with Pilkington delivers a tangible benefit to our customers, not only in the form of access to cutting-edge products including Pilkington Optiview or Pyrostop and Pyrodur, but also to a wealth of expertise and knowledge.
“There’s a lot to learn if you’re working as part of a team supplying glass. Our Glass knowledge and training days are designed to support that learning and through it, to help our customers sell more.”