The UK glass manufacturing industry gathered on 23rd May at the British Glass Focus Conference, held in Manchester, UK.

A keynote speech from James Fothergill, Head of Education and Skills, CBI, focused on education and training of young people and highlighted the need for well-supported apprenticeship schemes within manufacturing and in particular, in the glass industry.

This theme continued throughout the day with a presentation from Ian Kinder, Executive Director, UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

There was also the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Siemens and British Glass, aimed at providing a support network for skills training and apprenticeships, with the help of the British Glass members.
More details will follow on this in the June issue of Glass International.

Breakout sessions in the morning focused on glass packaging, glass in society and architecture and design.

Sharon Crayton, Group Head of Marketing and Public Affairs, Ardagh Group, gave a very interesting presentation on ‘More to glass than lightweighting,’ looking at glass as an interactive material for packaging and in particular the Absolut Unique project, which saw a different pattern produced on each of four million bottles through decoration and coating techniques.

The afternoon breakout sessions included more on glass packaging, but also innovations in glass.

Nick Kirk, Technical Director Glass Technology Services lead the session on innovations, which looked at examples of cutting edge glass-related research currently being undertaken within the fields of biomaterials and photonics: A very different way of looking at glass.

The day concluded with a British Glass members’ committee meeting and was followed by evening entertainment.