THE National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) has unveiled plans for a new accreditation scheme in a bid to boost skills in the sector.
The new accreditation is to be implemented in 2018, with the first 5,000 accredited roofers in place by 2021, and is the result of a collaboration between the NFRC and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). The scheme aims to improve efficiency, upskill the workforce, encourage the use of new technology and attract new talent to the industry.
Peter Treacy, national chairman of the NRFC in Scotland said that the scheme would raise the bar in the roofing sector.
“We’ve been working on it for two years and basically (the scheme) is a vehicle to allow our industry to take control of the training for our operatives,” Peter told Project Scotland.
“We have taken on this venture to set up a training system that will manage training for individuals. Over the next four years the it will get put in place, but it’s to be self-sustainable so in the future it will look after itself.”
Peter continued, “The main driver behind it is to try and up skill and continually monitor the standard of training and the competency levels of the people in our industry.
“We need to raise the bar – safety-wise, quality-wise – so that we can create that standard and by having a continual assessment system so that people can be assessed, we should be able to maintain that standard.
“There are a number of elements to it; it’s not just about the training. It’s about delivering education to schools to encourage roofing. It’s the full thing, to take people from a school age and deliver training and development courses to kids and show them what the opportunities are in roofing.
“It’s not just about being on a roof; we’ve got estimators, surveyors, draughtsmen, admin – there’s a whole load of different jobs within the roofing element and as well as that.”
Peter added that the system would provide roofers with continual assessment and up skilling through CPDs and supplier-led training.
The scheme was announced at the recent NFRC Suppliers Conference. James Talman, chief executive at the NFRC commented, “The industry recognises that it is faced with an ageing workforce, structural challenges which limit its professionalism and lacking career paths.
“Our aim is to address some of these issues and make sure roofing contractors have the support they need to operate efficiently and confidently.”
Mark Noonan, industry relations director at the CITB added, “The CITB is placing its support with the NFRC to create the sustainable demand for professional roofers in the built environment and by doing so ensuring that employers and clients benefit from an accredited workforce.
“We anticipate the scheme benefits would be supported across all specialist federations, professional training providers and other relevant stakeholders.”
The NFRC also recently held its Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year Awards, at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow. Peter Treacy said the aim of the awards was to “shine a light” on the federation’s Scottish members.
The Scottish awards were established ten years ago with all entries going on to be included in the national awards, which have ran for the past four decades.
Peter added, “The Scottish awards are purely for Scottish contractors and it’s really to shine a light on what they do and the projects that they’re working on and it’s been very successful.”
• Roof Slating—Rooftec (Scotland) Ltd for Upper Glen Road
• Roof Tiling—D M Roofing and Roughcasting Ltd for Lochwinnoch Primary School
• Heritage Roofing—B & D Roofing & Building Ltd for Dalmeny House Stables Roof Sheeting—Hugh L S McConnell Ltd for National Library Scotland
• External Cladding/Rainscreen—Procladd Scotland Ltd for Sauchiehall Street Centre
• Reinforced Bituminous Membrane—W G Walker (Ayr) Ltd for Toronto Primary School Single Ply—Pinnacle Roofing Specialists for Fawnspark
• Liquid Applied—William Rae Roofing (Aberdeen) Ltd for Hazelhead Units
• Green Roof—ICB (Projects) Ltd for Carrongrange High School
• Supply Chain Partner of the Year—Ash & Lacy nominated by Advanced Building Contracts Ltd and Roofscape Ltd
• Apprentice of the Year—George Bennett
• NFRC Community Award—Wyvis Roofing Inverness for The Meeting Place Culloden