Join the Institute of Roofing

Training Developments at the IoR

Kay Rose (FIoR), CEO of the Institute of Roofing (IoR), explains how and why the Institute has refreshed its Associate Training course.

The skills-based shortage has been a problem in construction for some time, but professional training is not without its issues. With the cost-of-living crisis having a severe knock-on effect for businesses, investing in training for employees might not be high on the agenda.

However, the urgent need to upskill is still looming large. Although the UK economy is facing a recession in 2023, recent statistics released by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) suggests within the next five years, there will still be substantial recruitment and training challenges facing the industry.


Meeting Sector Needs

Roofing is no exception when it comes to the serious competition for skilled professionals. With intense rivalry from other sectors, employers are feeling the pressure to retain and upskill their workforce.

The CITB also reports that by 2030, the number of young adults entering the workforce is expected to increase by 25 per cent. In addition, millions of workers are potentially looking to change their career as a result of the pandemic. The challenge for our industry is to make sure we are attracting the right people with the much-needed knowledge, skills and diversity to meet the sector’s future needs.

As an industry, we need to adopt new approaches to recruitment and skills – modernising our attitudes and behaviours, working practices, offering more flexibility and investing in our own. This will also help to improve retention within our current workforce.

Professional Training

It is important that employees ensure their qualifications and CVs are up-to-date by upskilling and re-evaluating training goals. There is plenty of free information and guidance out there from trusted sources like industry associations, which can easily be accessed online – and training can offer many benefits to employees looking to progress.

Having a positive attitude towards training will mean the industry is equipped with the skills and resources it needs to help keep us building in the future.

Members and non-members of the IoR for example are encouraged to make the most of the guidance and training available to them; such as online courses, support, guidance, and learning opportunities.

Whatever your job role, if you are looking for change, having the positive mindset to look for more is the first step to career progression – but it is down to the hard work and tenacity of the individual to go that extra mile.

The Associate Course

As part of the IoR’s commitment to promote continual upskilling and training, no matter what level you are working at, it has recently refreshed its Associate Course, and has announced new dates and locations for this year.

The Associate Course is designed for anyone considering a professional career in roofing, particularly with an eye to moving into a supervisory or management role.

Updated in-line with my vision to modernise the Institute, the training has been refreshed with support and input from Mark Dunn – new IoR board member and tutor for the IoR.

The course includes a more interactive, presentation-led learning style. It provides essential skills and knowledge to enable candidates to progress in the roofing industry. Once candidates have successfully completed the course, they will be awarded with an Awarding Body of the Built Environment (ABBE) Level 3 Award in Roofing Management. The first cohort for the Associate Course this year took place at FixFast in Kent, earlier this month (March 2023), with other dates and venues planned across the UK throughout the year.

Testament to the IoR and Training

This year, waterproofing system manufacturer, Axter Ltd, is investing in IoR training for its employees.

Phillip Wilcox-Moore (FIoR), the MD from Axter Ltd, said members of its technical sales team will be the first to undertake the training, rolling it out to the wider business soon after.

Speaking of why he thinks the Associate Course is important for his staff, Phillip said: “As a company, we are committed to providing industry-specific training that is independent, certified and peer-reviewed. At Axter, we are always focused on building training and development pathways for our staff, whether this be new recruits or established members of the team.

“Gaining a broader view and perspective on the roofing industry we think is vital. By undertaking the IoR’s Associate Course, our teams will have a wider view and understanding of the industry. It covers all roofing disciplines and principles, and the knowledge gained on this course will be invaluable for our staff.”

Phillip plans to provide Associate Course training to internal departments within the next phase of staff upskilling, including teams such as quality assurance and field technicians, as well as employees within design and tech-based roles.

“It’s critical all people within the business have a good overview of our sector. I see the IoR potentially positioned as the best route to gain the independent knowledge required to flourish and progress not only as individuals, but as a business.

“When I was new to roofing, I would have been keen to do some training like this, so I am glad I can offer it to my staff.”

The IoR’s Relevance Today

By working collaboratively as an industry, and using resources and skills from other sectors to develop courses and qualifications, we can make roofing look more attractive to the younger generation.

This was echoed in Phillip’s comments, as he added: “It’s important the IoR needs to be the independent educational authority on roofing, and should be supported by all manufacturers, contractors, and other construction trade associations.

“It is by far the best positioned professional body in our industry, and the best route for holistic education. Other trade associations in our sector are specialist, and specific to one roofing discipline – but the IoR offers that rounded offering.

“The IoR is such a relevant organisation and important for our sector – so let’s support it.”