Seven apprentice roofers were taken on a tour of the Xtratherm factory at Holmewood in Chesterfield on Tuesday 31st July. This was part of the Single Ply Roofing Association’s (SPRA) first ever specialist apprenticeship programme in the UK. The course is hosted at East Midlands Roofing College in north Nottingham, and offers generic training and certification in safety and access plus detailed modules in all aspects of single ply. It's a two year programme with the final six months being assessment. Successful completion of the course results in an NVQ2 in applied waterproof membranes- single ply, level two.
This event was not part of the apprentices’ formal training but is an “enrichment” activity, to complement their college based work. The apprentices are from local employers Advanced Roofing, Briggs Amasco, Metclad Contracts and J Wright Roofing. They were all given a two hour presentation, followed by a tour of the factory, to familiarise them with production techniques and see how Xtratherm’s innovative engineered insulation materials are manufactured. The apprentices all went away with certificates and photos of their day’s training.
Darran Eastap one of the apprentices from J Wright Roofing said: “Staff at Xtratherm had all been very welcoming and incredibly knowledgeable, able to answer any questions that were asked immediately. The tour of the factory opened my eyes as to how the manufacturing process worked, in particular the quality assurance process.”
Xtratherm as members of the Single Ply Roofing Association are keen to be involved in this training Pilot. Once feedback from the scheme has been reviewed it is hoped to roll it out across all the regions in the UK.
SPRA Technical Director Jim Hooker said: "The excellent reputation of single ply is down to high quality materials and their supply to properly trained installers only. It's my job to ensure that relationship is maintained positively in an expanding market. There is a key role for manufacturers in this process. Training facilitated by selected, experienced individuals with a background on the tools, complemented by demonstrations of products and installation processes will widen the range of knowledge of the apprentices”.