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The NFRC’s 2019 vision: a four-year Workforce Development Strategy for roofing contractors after Brexit takes shape

Roofing illustration by Anuta Berg (via Shutterstock).

Could the NFRC’s plan offer some post-Brexit optimism for the roofing industry? Illustration by Anuta Berg (via Shutterstock).

With restrictions on free movement, post-Brexit Britain could be a barrier to recruitment in the roofing industry. The price of raw materials could rise and finding roofers could be harder. In a bid to improve the attractiveness of the industry, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors have released a four-year plan.

Entitled the Workplace Development Strategy, it is the NFRC’s vision for a post-Brexit future for the roofing industry. The report faces up to the challenges that our industrial sector faces in the next half decade. This was written in cooperation with 141 UK based contractors. It is built around three key objectives:

  1. Establishing the roofing sector as a professional, forward-thinking sector with clear paths from apprenticeship to postgraduate level;
  2. The formalisation and standardisation of training, accreditation, and assessment criteria across the UK, with emphasis on continuous improvement;
  3. Cooperation with all roofing sector companies, suppliers and trade associations, with endorsement and commitment from all stakeholders.

The last objective focuses on growth, increased training opportunities, and access to grants. The Chief Executive of NFRC, James Talman said on the strategy: “It’s well known that any chain, process or greater goal is only as strong as its weakest link, and without doubt the roofing sector has long felt like the poor relation of the construction industry.

“We have a major image problem due to a lack of clear differentiation between a qualified skilled worker and an operative who calls him/herself a roofer after carrying out a health and safety test.”

NFRC’s plans could be a fillup for our industry. Would the National Federation of Roofing Contractors’ plans be complemented by investment in further education institutions and vocational training programmes? It takes two to tango.

Cumbria Roofing, 07 April 2017.

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