Roofing contractors – it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and upskill!

Roofing is an industry steeped in tradition and some would say that this conservative approach has meant a reluctance to use new products. Some, principally smaller roofing contractors, have been slow to adapt to the changes and benefits that new technologies offer – and this could be affecting profits and margins.

‘Why change a particular favourite product ‘that’s always done a good job,’ they claim.

The answer - if you want to stand out in an all too crowded market-place and improve your bottom line - it’s necessary to increase and expand your offering.

Things have moved on in the roofing industry. New systems and liquid waterproofing products coming on to the market offer opportunities for all roofing contractors, large or small. So what’s stopping contractors from checking out new products and learning about their features and benefits.

Talk to the manufacturers. Use their expertise and guidance to diversify your range. Get trained up into laying something better and your business could grow alongside.

Technology has advanced and, according to Proteus Waterproofing, there’s a market out there for all types of new products across a spectrum of price points. Upskill your workforce, take advantage and companies like ours will work with you, they say.

With this in mind, Proteus has developed an accredited education programme delivered from their Proteus Training Hub in Essex. Awarded CITB Approved Training Organisation (ATO) status, one of only two UK flat roofing manufacturers to achieve this, Proteus will be delivering CITB accredited short duration courses in: ‘Liquid Applied Membranes Introduction’; ‘Single Pack Polyurethanes’; ‘Balconies, Podiums and Inverted Roof Systems’, and ‘Two Pack Polyurethanes and Flexible Polyesters’. Candidates who complete its courses will have their training information uploaded to the CITB national training register, ensuring their skills are acknowledged by current and future employers.

It’s a fact that for small companies, losing an employee to a day’s training costs time and money. Financial recompense is available to offset staff absence but it inevitably involves negotiating a myriad of red tape, which can make building firms reluctant to engage with education programmes in the first instance. As an ATO, it is Proteus’ responsibility to retrieve course fees from the CITB on a contractor’s behalf. This funding is paid directly to the contractor, which is a huge benefit as it circumnavigates a lengthy claims process.

And another benefit of manufacturer-led training schemes is that they accelerate the learning process helping to reduce errors and the subsequent high levels of snagging costs per project. Take several of these courses and become proficient in a number of different systems - the more strings you have to your roofing bow, the better.

The NFRC’s report, UK Roofing Sector – Workforce Development Strategy – 2017-2020, concluded that for the roofing sector to raise its standards (in line with the rest of the construction industry), it needs to focus on developing its workforce. The report highlighted that there were skills gaps in such areas as technical skills, management and specialist roofing qualifications, and that 35% of those contractors sampled said that they had active workers who had some sort of skills gap.

Going forwards, it’s time to invest in your workforce and expand your offering. The wider the range of products and expertise you can offer, the more you will increase your market and your business will grow and thrive.

Why get stuck in a roofing rut – it’s time to get out of your comfort zone!

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