School children attending the SkillBuild final get involved in a range of activities at the NFRC Roofing Hub, designed to attract the next generation of roofers.
The first ever NFRC Roofing Hub at the SkillBuild finals, which took place at the Birmingham NEC on 21-23 November, attracted 300 young people who took part in took part activities, ranging from ‘have-a-go’ challenges, through to virtual reality tours and clay carving.
Developed by the NFRC and partners as a culmination of its roofing roadshow at colleges, which coincided with the SkillBuild regional heats, the Roofing Hub was partly as a response to the lack roofing information at last year’s Construction Hub.
With the support of BMI, CUPA PIZARRAS, Hambleside Danelaw, Marley, SPV Group and Wienerberger, who supplied materials and attended the Roofing Hub throughout the event, the NFRC therefore decided to take up the reigns to promote roofing.
Simon Dixon, NFRC’s Training Officer, said: “We took the line that if no one else will shout about it, then we will have to and so working with our partners in industry we created a space where young people could learn about roofing and get involved in practical challenges.”
And that is exactly what the young visitors did, taking part in five practical roofing tasks, including fixing slates and tiles to training rigs. Pupils also got the chance to do clay carving as well as go on a virtual reality tour of a building site. Visitors also had the opportunity to enter a prize draw for Amazon vouchers and an Echo Dock.
Analytics from the National Finals tells us that the largest percentage of visitors are 14-15-year olds, which is the perfect age to promote roofing as a lifelong career. That was clearly the case at the NFRC Roofing Hub, where the majority of visitors were 14 years old, with a great mix of both boys and girls asking about careers in construction.
A total of 300 students from 100 schools visited the NFRC Roofing Hub, with teachers and Roof Training Groups enquiring about using the specially created ‘Career in Roofing’ flyer at their schools and training centres.
Bob Richardson, NFRC Head of Technical, said:
“The fact that 82% of young visitors completed all five tasks is testament to how well-engaged they were with the NFRC Roofing Hub and goes to show that there is a real appetite young people for getting involved in practical careers like roofing. The event also showed the passion and commitment that the NFRC and its partners have for attracting the next generation of talent.”
Stuart Black, Sales Manager at CUPA PIZARRAS said:
“It was an absolute pleasure for CUPA PIZARRAS support the NFRC Roof Hub and Skillbuild. The three days really gave me a great feeling for the future of UK Industry and especially the future of the Roofing sector. I was massively impressed by the attendees both from the wider roofing industry and the visiting children, who showed real interest and excitement in roofing as a career.”
Kate Whatley, Commercial Director at SPV Group, said
“It was a fantastic event and the NFRC and its partners should be incredibly proud. It brought the industry together fantastically and I am confident we inspired a lot of new possible entrants to the industry.”