Earlier this week, Brechin based national roofing contractor Forster Roofing welcomed 12 new apprentices to their industry leading Skills Academy. The apprentices, who come from all over Scotland, include the company’s first female roofing apprentice, Adelle Martin from Denny.
“We need to build more homes in Scotland, to meet an increasing demand, but the industry wide skills shortage presents the greatest challenge to achieving growth” commented Forster Construction Director, Neil McIvor. “At Forster, we have a clear vision to create our own workforce that are trained to the Forster Standard, and taught to work the Forster way”.
The two year Modern Apprenticeship in Roof Tiling for New Build combines on-the-job structured learning, with contextualised off-site training at Forster’s own Skills Academy in Brechin. “The qualification was designed specifically to teach and nurture the skills required for roofing new homes in Scotland,” explained Human Resources Director Maureen Douglas, “and is supported by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council (SBATC).”
“Our latest intake of roofing apprentices has grown our total number to 23, all of which have been recruited within the last two years. Looking ahead, we intend to take on and train six new apprentices every year, and we’ve already started recruiting for our 2017 intake.”
New apprentice, Adelle Martin explained “The Forster apprenticeship programme provides a great opportunity to get into construction, and I’ve really enjoyed meeting different people and working as part of a squad.” Ross Henderson, who is also one of the recent in-take of apprentices said “I’ve been interested in working in the construction industry for quite a while. Even before joining the Forster apprenticeship programme, I completed a general construction course at college. My mentor Martin Quinn has been great, and I’ve really enjoyed learning from him.”
The apprentices are spending the first week (of their ten off-site residential training weeks) receiving training in Health and Safety Awareness and Emergency First Aid and an induction from CITB.