A NEW, DEDICATED roofing training centre has opened at Derwentside College in Consett, outside Newcastle, for both flat and pitched roofing apprentices.
In October 2022, roofing consultant Alan Bessford was approached by Derwentside College to help set up the new apprentice training centre.
The County Durham college has trained many construction students over the years. Despite this, Alan says the North East still suffers from a lack of new roofing recruits. Attracting young people into a career in roofing remains a principal contributor to the industry’s skills shortages and the new training centre was designed to help tackle this problem.
Alan said, “Now that the workforce of roofers is getting older, and not enough new talent in this skill is emerging in the North East, it was decided a new training centre was very much needed.”
New Roofing Apprentice Training Centre
Alan Bessford worked with Derwentside College Principal, Chris Todd; Vice Principal, Susan Errington; Head of School, Ken Johnson; and Curriculum Lead, Steven Olsen, to create the brand-new training centre for apprentices in Slating and Tiling, and Waterproof Membranes.
The focus of the centre, Alan explains, is to encourage skilled workers to come in to a trade, which, as he says, “is increasing in workload, but decreasing in skilled workers”.
The training centre also offers one-year full time multi-trade courses, designed to give learners a taste of a range of trades, including roofing, joinery, bricklaying, and groundwork. This will then lead to an apprenticeship in the student’s chosen trade.
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