Barclay Roofing and AAA kickstart careers in roofing

Ben Blackburn and Esme Flounders
Ben Blackburn and Esme Flounders

Barclay Roofing and AAA Roofing have joined forces with Redcar & Cleveland College to help tackle an industry skills gaps and kick-start high quality, long term career opportunities.

The two north east contractors have developed Get Ready for Roofing, a six-week course that aims to give people who are currently unemployed the opportunity to test their suitability for a career in the trade and if completed, will receive a guaranteed interview for a six-month kickstart paid work placement.

By working directly with employers, the new course has been created to test aptitude for a career in the technically demanding roofing industry and includes everything a candidate will need to safely work on-site and begin longer term accredited training.

The course offers an introduction to construction skills, working at heights, health and safety, asbestos and abrasive wheels awareness, as well as covering personal development, interview skills and the CSCS Test and Green Card.

It is hoped this end-to-end skills programme will create a pipeline of high-quality roofing skills for the area and help reduce the workforce shortage, while also creating high quality employment opportunities for people across the Tees Valley.

Esme Flounders, business development director at Barclay Roofing, said: “We are finding it more difficult to attract skilled workers into our business. We know this is an industry wide issue, but it is particularly pertinent across the Tees Valley because of a historic lack of dedicated training resources in this area.

“As one of the larger roofing contractors in the region, we feel a responsibility to our industry to change this and secure the long-term future of our trade.”

With the potential to move into employment following the work placement, Esme added that the course is a huge step forward for construction skills in the Tees Valley, as those who wish to follow an apprenticeship in a roofing discipline must currently travel to Newcastle or Leeds.

Ben Blackburn, managing director of AAA Roofing, said: “As Redcar born and bred, and with several business interests in the area, I feel passionately about my hometown. As such, I am incredibly proud to be working in collaboration with Redcar and Cleveland College and Barclay Roofing to offer a focussed, skills-based training and careers pathway for the people in the town and across the Tees Valley.

“We know unemployment has been an issue across the area for many years and has been exacerbated by the pandemic. In launching this programme, we are not only working to move the industry forward by injecting the next generation of skills, but we are also offering high quality career opportunities for the long term.”

There are 16 work placements available between the two employers. Whilst needing a good head for heights, potential recruits must be aged 18 to 24, claiming Universal Credit and be referred to the programme by their JCP Work Coach.

The first course is due to start at Redcar and Cleveland College on Tuesday, 4 May. Interested candidates can also attend a two-hour awareness session on Friday, 30 April between 10am-12pm.