Apprentices are part of our success story

A FAMILY firm with a business model which creates jobs for young people, has bucked the trend and expanded throughout the recession.

UK Windows was set up 12 years ago and now boasts 45 staff, a £4.5m annual turnover and a new 30,000 sq ft factory in Milburn Road, Cobridge.

Managing Director Richard Barlow believes part of that success is down to the company’s partnership with PM Training.

He said: “We’ve been working with PM Training for about 10 years and have taken on about 15 apprentices, some have stayed with us and done their qualifications in manufacturing windows.

“We have a couple who have been with the company for eight years now.

“It’s hard to find people who’ll come into a business and merge with it, but we find when we take on school leavers they are more likely to stay here and develop their careers.

“It builds a sense of loyalty and it’s a good business model for both employer and employee.

“PM Training allows us to attract new people to the business in an economical way.

“We’ve also had colleagues who have completed supervisor NVQ qualifications and that’s helped their career progression.”

Mr Barlow added: “We manufacture upvc windows, doors and conservatories, mostly for the trade market but around 20 per cent of the business is retail.

“I’m proud to see the growth despite the recession, in recent years we’ve focused on marketing and developing our business and the new factory is vital part of that plan.

“Previously we were spread over four units but this investment has brought our operations under one roof, and we have made savings and stabilised the business ready for more growth and expansion in the future.”