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Celebrating 10 Years Supporting Leeds College of Building

In 2012 Midland Lead started working with the Leeds College of Building and both organisations had a shared vision; to support the future generations of sustainable, skilled roofers.

Since working together both organisations have evolved, and they continue to promote career opportunities in roofing. Leeds College of Building (LCB) is the only General Further Education College (GFEC) in the UK dedicated to construction and the built environment providing over 200 courses to more than 5,500 students of all ages from entry-level up to and including level 7.

LCB has also achieved many accolades over the years, including FE Week (Further Education Week) & AELP (The Association of Employment and Learning Providers) Apprenticeship Provider of the Year. The Leeds based college also works closely with many employers in the UK to help their students on their way to securing a career in the sector.

Since starting the initiative to support the future roofers, Midland Lead now provides lead sheet, ancillary products, factory tours and training to 18 colleges in the UK, and it was the initial introduction to Leeds College of Building that helped to kick-start it. Midland Lead is committed to demonstrating the practical benefits that working with lead provides and improving employability.

Kyle Hazeldine, sales and marketing manager at Midland Lead describes how this relationship has evolved; “It is well documented that there remains a shortage of people choosing a career in the roofing and construction sector. We know how rewarding the industry can be to work in and it also provides valuable skills for career progression.”

Chris Messenger, Lecturer in roof slate and tiling, Leeds College of Building; “I have been working for LCB as a roof slating and tiling tutor for more than 20 years and in this time the courses have significantly improved thanks to businesses such as Midland Lead. We now have two other full-time tutors David Mallory and Dale Yates and a brilliant manager, Lee Bogg, who are also passionate about supporting and developing new talent in the sector.

“Reflecting back on when I started with just twenty roofing apprentices who attended a twenty-three-week course on block release, the roofing department was clearly growing and required more space for storage and training rigs. We moved out of the classroom and created an overhead scaffold tented roof in an outside yard that was cold and exposed to the winter elements, and this reflected real-life site conditions.

“As the roofing provision started to expand and with support from Sandtoft roof tiles, we quickly out-grew our roofing provision and relocated to a new training facility at Stourton, Leeds. LCB’s success in the national finals of the World Skills event generated interest and support and as a result, encouraged companies to help support training organisations to deliver materials and industry knowledge.

“In the early days of our courses, we trained apprentices to use bitumen felt to simulate lead, due to not having lead available. Then in 2012, Francoise Derksen from Midland Lead visited LCB Stourton with NFRC training manager Livia Williams who observed our training and immediately acknowledged that having lead as a material to work with, to demonstrate its qualities and naturally sustainable qualities, was as important as the course itself.

“As a result of this initial visit, Francoise immediately arranged for lead to be delivered to LCB that could be used for hands-on experience and recycled back to Midland Lead for processing back into new lead. Midland lead also invited LCB apprentices to visit their premises in Derbyshire for a tour of the processing and manufacturing site as part of their CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training.

“This visit has been embedded into our course ever since, a valuable event enjoyed by many LCB roofing apprentices over the years. It is so rewarding for me to see how this important contribution from industry experts has resulted in apprentices setting up their own roofing companies who love working with lead, and in turn, now send their own apprentices to LCB. Previous students still talk about their experiences as part of the course such as seeing how lead processing works from using 100% recycled lead through to application on roofs.

“I can’t thank Midland Lead enough for the support they have provided. LCB is proud to be the first training college that Midland Lead supported and how this has expanded to many other colleges throughout the UK.

“Hundreds of apprentices now have the opportunity to receive practical training with the most effective and environmentally friendly roofing product available. I would like to personally thank Francoise, as from the day she walked into LCB Stourton there have been many significant improvements to the course. Over the years we have also enjoyed working with Dave Woolley, Lynn Street and Kyle Hazeldine, for their vision and commitment to training roofing apprentices everywhere.

“My passion for training our roofing apprentices is shared with our growing team of tutors including David Mallory and Dale Yates, who have the same enthusiasm that really comes alive in the courses. We look forward to working with Midland Lead and our students for many years to come.”

Dale Yates, the tutor, added; “This image of one of our students (to the right) is just one example of what we can get our learners to achieve, with the fantastic support we receive from Midland Lead Ltd.

It’s an absolute honour to have such a good product readily available for the students at LCB. Allowing our future roofers, the opportunity to really excel in all aspects of the trade. Which is critical in them moving forward and gaining a good reputation in the roofing industry.”

For more details of how Midland Lead supports the next generation of roofers through our work with colleges please visit

Special thanks to Livia Williams, Industry Director at YouthBuild Ventures UK, Lee Bogg, Curriculum Manager Leeds College of Building, Dale Yate and Dave Mallory who are both tutors at Leeds College of Building.