Last week saw the World Skills regional heats take place at Leeds College of Building (LCB) Roofing Division at the Hunslet Campus.
Taking part Thursday 7 June 2018 was one of two apprentice roofers with Lincolnshire-based The Roofing Corporation, Joe Turner, who is studying at LCB for a level 3 qualification. Joe was joined by Jay Webster, second-year apprentice at Leeds contractor Yorkshire Heritage Roofing; and level 3 apprentice Kieran Langhan who works in the Selby family firm David Langhan & Sons Roofing Contractors and has ambitions to continue his studies at level 4 to qualify in Site Management.
Working hard for six hours over just one day to complete a roofing rig using CUPA natural slate, the three competitors were judged on interpretation of drawings, application of underlay, battens and tiles, measuring, marking and cutting of slates, fixing, use of PPE and keeping work areas clean and tidy – all the while scrutinised by judges, Bob Coutts and Andy Rowlands.
Bob Coutts commented, “We always see good quality work from LCB entrants and there is a really impressive standard of concentration and application of skills demonstrated today, which is good to see.
“We commonly see mistakes made as a result of the competition conditions – it’s not easy. The students need to read the competition rules given to them at the start of the day really carefully and focus their efforts on the higher mark sections. For example, a valley attracts a higher mark than a hip, so that’s the section they need to ensure they complete if they’re short of time.”
At the end of the day, first place was awarded to Joe Turner, second place went to Jay Webster, and in third place was Kieran Langhan.
The top 8 national roofing apprentices will go on to compete in the 3-day national World Skills UK finals on 15-17 November 2018, at the NEC in Birmingham. Roofing students will compete for gold, silver and bronze places.
The three competitors were joined by two first-year roofing apprentices who intend to enter the competition next year and were getting in some practice: Matthew Ford, apprentice at social housing group Incommunities, Bradford and Joe Osborne who was the second Roofing Corporation apprentice taking part.
The World Skills roofing heats and finals are this year sponsored by natural slate company, CUPA Pizarras. All the natural slate used during the competition was donated by CUPA, through Burton Roofing Merchants Ltd which also donated accessories and PPE.
Chris Messenger, LCB roofing lecturer explained, “Without sponsorship and the donations of roofing materials the College receives, we would not be able to enter our students into these competitions, there simply would not be the materials available.
“Yet the competitions offer students a wider perspective, opportunities to develop their skills further and are great motivators – all of which is good news for the roofing sector which continues to need more skilled and qualified recruits. We are very grateful to the support we receive from CUPA Pizarras, as well as Burton Roofing Merchants, Midland Lead, Klober and SR Timber.”