Changing to a career in roofing
Life’s too short to be unhappy at work. If you are considering moving careers, here are a few reasons to choose the roofing sector:
The roofing sector is booming—with a substantial proportion of people in the industry expected to retire in the next ten years, employers are keen to recruit mature and hardworking people into the sector to keep up with demand—as roofer contractors increasingly finding themselves with overflowing order books.
The roofing sector has hundreds of different jobs available, and not all of them focused on trade-based jobs. Take a look at entry level job profiles to get a flavour of the opportunities available and take a look at these success stories about others who have chosen roofing as their career of choice.
Entry level jobs are not only available for school leavers: this includes apprenticeships which are now open to all.
The income potential in the roofing sector is really positive too.
Routes into roofing
There is no one ‘right’ way to get into roofing—there are a number of different routes, so you can identify the one that fits you best. See below some of the key ways you can begin in the sector.
Apprenticeships: Apprentices do a job with an employer, in addition to recognised training. By the end of your apprenticeship, you have a qualification and have gained valuable work experience and skills with your employer. Apprenticeships are available to all and are advertised through Talentview Construction.
Apprenticeships are designed by employers so they reflect the relevant knowledge, skills and behaviours that you will need to build a new career.
If you already have a supportive employer, they may support you through an apprenticeship. Contact NFRC Roofing Careers Service for help and support.
Construction career changer: The Construction Talent Retention Scheme helps individuals looking for a career in construction. It’s completely free to use. You can search and apply for opportunities. There are many different roles, suitable for all skills—including lots of digital, site and office-based roles as well as trades and specialist professions. If you have relevant transferable skills already, this is the place to search for your new role.
Having a good CV and profile ready will give you the best chance of being noticed by employers who are recruiting.
Vocationally-recognised qualifications: Vocational Qualifications (VQs) are the traditional route into the roofing sector. These are usually fully or partially paid for by employers, but you can self-fund your training. There may also be funding available to help with the cost: we recommend contacting your local roof training group for local funding opportunities.
Vocationally recognised qualifications can be a quicker route than apprenticeships (as they take less time to complete), however they do not tend to attract as much funding.
Specialist Applied Skills Programmes (SAPs): SAPs are delivered through a series of short duration modulated training courses, typically over a 25-day period, followed by vocational achievement (N/SVQ). These are offered by various training providers. More information about Specialist Applied Skills Programmes (SAPs) is available from CITB.
Informal upskilling: Upskilling or retraining can take place by more informal routes, such as work-shadowing, or skills and knowledge transfer (where an employee is placed with a highly experienced team member to share their expertise).
As this is an informal approach, usually it is not funded by external bodies. Informal learning is a great way of discovering the right career for you, however formal qualifications are just as important for your progression.
Government initiatives: All UK governments are committed to supporting people back into the workplace. This includes practical support to access training. If you are in not currently in paid employment, gov.uk offers advice on 'Help with moving from benefits to work'.
The Restart Scheme gives Universal Credit claimants who have been out of work for at least twelve months enhanced support to find jobs in their local area.
The Kickstart Scheme provides a fully funded job placement for 16 – 24-year-olds with a local employer.