Official Opening of New Warrington Roof Training Centre
A BRAND-NEW roofing training centre officially opened today (18 May) at Simian in Warrington, for apprentices of Slating and Tiling and Waterproof Membranes.
The centre, led by roofing tutor Luke O’Gorman, offers state-of-the-art roofing rigs and training facilities, including a new rig for retrofit solar installations.
As the biggest independent scaffold trainer in the UK, Simian already offers roof training at its London Academy of Sustainable Construction. The new centre is Simian’s second roof training location and will act as a prototype to be replicated in a similar nationwide network of roofing training centres.
Simian Risk Managing Director, Simon Hughes, said, “We got to the point where we wanted to start diversifying our portfolio and the natural choice for us was roofing. There are lots of synergies between scaffolding and roofing.
“When we’re talking to employers and the wider industry, we hear lots of opportunity and demand for training. We’ve seen over the last 20 years, particularly in the roofing industry, that there is a real demand for apprenticeships. Contractors want to know what specific skills apprentices have got.
“Although Simian is new to roofing, with the people that we’ve employed and the level of expertise, we’re bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience into this training centre. What we’re trying to achieve here is something we can replicate in other regions as well.”
Simon said Warrington was the ‘ideal location’ to expand as its situation between Liverpool and Manchester meant the centre would be more accessible to a wider range of potential students. The centre currently has apprentices from Warrington, St Helens, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Bolton.
The centre’s latest group of apprentices could be seen in action at the event, with demonstrations being held in both Slating and Tiling and Waterproof Membrane Installations.
There was also much cause for celebration at the event, as the centre has already had success with five apprentices having been selected for the BMI Apprentice of the Year 2023 competition. The centre has also been chosen to host the first Roof Slating & Tiling heats for the SkillBuild 2023 competition which will take place on 27 June.
Roofing Tutor, Luke O’Gorman, said: “I’m really keen to show the centre off because I’m exceptionally proud of what we’ve created here. I think it rivals anywhere in the country and just reinforces that message that it’s quality over everything – in terms of the delivery, the tasks that we’re setting for the lads, the workbooks that we’re working through. We just want it to be the absolute best that it can be.”
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