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Do you support new roofers in the industry?

How apprenticeships can help address the construction skills gap

This month’s question, ‘do you support new roofers in the industry?’, comes at a pivotal time for Midland Lead.

Alongside the substantial improvements we’re making on our delivery service and emissions reductions, one of the company’s key focusses is in fact supporting skills development in the roofing industry.

With the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) forecasting that the construction industry will need 120,000 apprentices over the next five years to fill an imminent skills gap, we’re well aware that a lack of skills in the coming years may harm our sector’s future prospects.

As such, we’re putting plans in place to help drive the development of future roofers. One of our key activities with this aim involves providing support to Leeds College of Building; a great facility with a vision to be the expertise centre of building and roofing in the north.

We have a fantastic relationship with the enthusiastic and motivated staff there, who, like us, are keen to go that extra mile to inspire roofing apprentices and add extra value to the courses.

Part of our support for the college sees us supply roof slating and tiling apprentices with free lead sheet and ancillaries to utilise on their courses. Doing so gives apprentices the opportunity to work with the ‘real thing’ on the college’s roof rigs, which are set up in the new Hunslet campus. We also provide professional roofing tools and ancillary products, such as fixing clips and patination oil, which allows apprentices to experience and practice bossing, bending, cutting and prepping lead first hand.

Keen to continue our support to Leeds College of Building, which also sees us collect the scrap lead from the college after use, we’re currently looking into broadening our support to other colleges in Wales and Derbyshire.

Alongside this work, we are also in the initial stages of developing a ‘support lead roofing skills scheme’. Looking at the most effective way of supporting apprentices post-training, the idea for the initiative involves signing up interested roofing merchants and having them join us in supporting young roofers as they embark on their careers.

We’ll be liaising with merchants wanting to participate to establish whether this support would come in the form of materials, information or finance, through a product discount.

Looking towards the future, we’re excited to chat with both merchants on deciding how we can put this idea into practice and to other colleges about apprenticeship support, and hope that our efforts will make a positive impact on our sector’s looming skills gap.

Please register your interest to help us support roofing skills with Kirsty Hartle, sales manager Midland Lead at: +44(0)1283 224 555