Derbyshire-based lead sheet manufacturer, Midland Lead, supports 17 colleges throughout the UK to help develop future skills within the construction and roofing industry.
Recently the company featured in the Parliamentary Review where it outlined its commitment of working to attract new talent and develop a skilled labour force in the future.
Since launching the initiative Midland Lead now supports 17 colleges providing machine-cast lead, tools and ancillary products free of charge. Midland Lead also sends its team of experts to visit many of the sites offering presentations about best practice on how to handle, store and work with lead – which is the most recycled and sustainable material in the world.
Along with practical advice and supplying raw materials, Midland Lead attend a number of events and they open the doors to their specialist manufacturing factilities so that students can see how the lead manufacturing process works.
Midland Lead has built strong relationships with many construction colleges including Leeds College of Building. David Mallory, lecturer and assessor in roof slate and tiling at LCB has seen how working with manufactures can have a positive effect on apprentices and students, he said: “Without the support that Midland Lead provides, the students wouldn’t progress with any lead work at all, and we think this is a really important aspect of them developing this as a skill.
“Unlike many building and roofing materials, working with lead is a skill that is developed through ‘getting your hands on it’, and thanks to Midland Lead supplying the materials and tools we can offer people the freedom to work with it directly. As soon as our students get the opportunity to use lead it often becomes their product of choice throughout their career and are proud to advocate using lead in the future.
“Lead alternatives aren’t always as effective and this is why we like people to learn using the ‘real thing’. Lead is high quality and easy to work with and a superior roofing product, so we really value the support and materials that Midland Lead provide to our students.”
Lynn Street, sales and marketing manager at Midland Lead recognised the potential that working closely with colleges can bring: “I have been working within the roofing and construction industry for 20 years and it is clear that there is a real shortage of people choosing this industry as a career – no matter what age.
“We know how rewarding the construction industry can be to work in and it has a sustainable future offering many opportunties in the UK and overseas.
“Since working with a number of colleges we have seen a real improvement in how organsisations are looking to recruit talent of the future and the results are starting to speak for themselves – but we have a long way to go to maintain the momentum and we are totally committed to making sure we play a role in supporting young people.”
Advocates of developing and supporting skills in construction, Midland Lead work closely with the CITB and NFRC, and because of this commitment they have developed a strong reputation for helping colleges around the UK, and they look forward to working with many more over the next few years.