NFRC Helps Renfrewshire School to Introduce Roofing Course

NFRC IS HELPING a Renfrewshire school by providing a grant and support to establish a course in Plain Roof Tiling.

Several NFRC member companies also offered sponsorship in kind, along with logistical help.

Johnstone High School had been providing its 900 students a wide range of qualifications and other opportunities in construction subjects. However, their Construction Skills (NPA (2022-23)) was limited to Bench Joinery, Colour Theory and Personal Development, and did not offer students sufficient choice.

Johnstone High School’s Technical Teacher Jaclyn Smith explained: “Although the first year was supportive of improving pupils’ knowledge of the construction industry, there were barriers to attainment in that the literacy demand involved with the units was high, while the practical engagement was quite low.  And unfortunately, this led to many of our learners not achieving a full course award as they were not able to complete all of the units.”

NFRC Helping

Happily, help was at hand when NFRC’s National Accounts Manager, Steve Laurence learned of the issue.  He contacted Colin McCorquodale, Vice President of NFRC and a director of Glasgow based contractor, Archibald McCorquodale & Sons.

Colin applied for an ‘inclusion grant’ from NFRC’s Charitable Trust while Steve contacted NFRC supplier members to provide materials for the students to practice with, with the aim of adding a Plain Roof Tiling unit to the syllabus.

Paslode Spit (ITW Construction Products) supplied the timber for the building of the rig. SIG Roofing supplied a range of roofer’s tools including hammers, saws, measuring tapes, and slate cutters. Marley Ltd provided quantities of plain tiles and timber battens.

A training rig was built by one of Archibald McCorquodale’s own apprentices, Eddie Brady, to a design which would be easy for the school to store when not in use.

With the second term now halfway through, the school is delighted with the equipment as well as training and advice. It has enabled the school to not only customize its workshop and upskill staff, but also improve attainment for learners and pathway opportunities.

Jaclyn Smith said: “Through the introduction of Plain Roof Tiling we have seen a dramatic change in accessibility to the course.  Learners are engaged and have seen success through the practical application of knowledge.  As it stands, we are on track for all learners to achieve a full course award at SCQF Level 5 in Construction skills.  Meaning they are more qualified, confident, and experienced to enter the world of work.

“We were only able to offer this through working in direct partnership with NFRC, Archibald McCorquodale & Sons, Paslode, SIG Roofing, and Marley.”

Thinking About Roofing

A student commenting on the course said, “I find it hard to learn from just sitting and reading a book, working practically makes it easier and gives you a better grasp of what you’re meant to do.  I enjoyed working on the rig, realised there were more aspects to construction and understood more about the steps it takes to build a house.” – S5 Construction Pupil.

Another student added, “I didn’t know much about construction before, I just thought it was mostly woodwork. Doing the roofing and painting units made me think a bit more about it and realise it’s a wider industry.  I’m now looking into college courses and roofing is one of my choices at West College Scotland for next year.”

Colin McCorquodale, said: “As a company we were delighted to help enable the school to deliver this course. Introducing young people to the benefits of pursuing a career in our industry is of the utmost importance in strengthening the roofing industry for the future. It was especially pleasing that one of our apprentices assisted with the preparation for the course.”

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