Why we created the first roofing & cladding apprenticeship in the south-west.

Based in Exeter, in the heart of the south-west, we have created the region’s first roofing and cladding apprenticeship scheme. Find out why? And, how you can discover more about the opportunities we’re creating.

At progressive, we’re always looking for opportunities to innovate and push ourselves and our industry forward. That’s why, against the backdrop of an increasing skills shortage, rising cost of living, and lack of opportunities for young people to get into construction, we made the decision to create the south-west’s first Roofing and Cladding Site Installer Apprenticeship.

Our roofing & cladding apprenticeship

Working alongside Greenlight Safety & Training, our apprenticeship scheme is approved by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), and available to anyone with a pass in English and Maths at GCSE level. If you do not have these, they can be gained as part of the qualification, making it one of the most accessible apprenticeships anywhere in the country.

You may be wondering why we were so confident that this was the right decision? After all, the scheme is the first of its kind in the south-west. No one has done this before. And doesn’t that mean it’s a big risk?

Potentially. But we focused on the benefits and worked towards those. We’d like to share 3 of the largest benefits we wanted to realise with the scheme. These were the things that drove us to make it the success it is.

Creating opportunities

Perhaps our biggest motivation was to create opportunities for young people in the south-west, by investing in the community we have called home for 35 years.

Our directors all live locally and have done for many years. They understand the value of opportunity, and how challenging it can be for young people to find the right one for them.

As a young person leaving school, finding your first job can be a daunting and even scary prospect. If you knew there was a way you could join one of the most secure industries out there in a role that allowed you to earn and learn, and that this scheme was open to anyone with a pass in English and Maths GCSE, that might be an interesting prospect.

We think so anyway, and so we created this scheme to be easily accessible, so it could provide opportunity to as many people as possible.

If you want to find out more information about becoming an apprentice, then please drop an email to Luke Hardware on lukehardware@weareprogressive.co.uk.

Safeguarding our industry

No industry is fully protected against skill shortages. In construction, and specifically roofing and cladding, there is a lack of young people wanting to get involved. There are many reasons for this, but our focus was not to explain the problem, it was solving it.
To do this, we knew we had to create something that was easy for young people to access and provide them with the things they need to make a confident start in their careers.

In our apprenticeship scheme, we saw a way to create one of life’s rarest things – a true win-win situation. As well as being attractive and offering opportunity to young people, our scheme ensures our future as the south-west’s leading roofing and cladding installer.

We now have an influx of young, keen apprentices that are learning the ropes, earning while they learn and will (hopefully) be with us for many years to come. And even if they’re not, if some go on to work other jobs in the sector, we are all ultimately benefiting from a growing pool of talented workers in the south-west’s construction sector!

Leading the way

Someone had to be the first, and so we thought, “Why not us?” This was not a spur of the moment decision though. Our apprenticeship scheme is the result of months of careful planning and hard work alongside the leading training bodies in the construction sector.

Greenlight Training and the CITB have been instrumental in the design and rollout of the scheme, but at its core it is a progressive initiative. It is true to our values of being proactive, investing in the future, and growing our expertise.

If you are an employer thinking about creating your own scheme, hopefully we’ve done enough to convince you it’s a good idea. Not only can you benefit from bringing enthusiastic young people into your workforce, but you can also create valuable opportunities in your community and help ensure the future of your industry.