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Have you noticed that metal roofing and cladding is on a lot of Commercial buildings? There’s an increasing number of residential buildings using the same materials too.
Are you aware that the installation of these products is underpinned by a recognised trade?
Installing metal roofing and cladding is the domain of roof plumbers, and this is one of the fastest growing trades in the Australian construction industry right now. Unfortunately, like a lot of trades right now, there just isn’t enough apprentices and tradespeople working in this trade.
Master Builders Association (MBA) and Metal Roofers and Cladders Association of Australasia (MRCAA) have joined forces to recruit people to this trade.
To make this trade appealing to potential apprentices, we need to understand what this trade is all about.
I recently spent the morning with some roof plumbing apprentices, David and Nicholas, and an industry specialist, Daniel, whose career began as an apprentice to get some insight.
It was unanimous, being
a roof plumber is a great career!
sheets only makes up about 10% of a roof plumbers typical day. Roof plumbers establish, maintain and remodel roof
structures by translating detailed plans before setting out the levels, fabricating
required components, correctly fitting rainwater tanks, pumps, new flashings, roof
battens, safety mesh and insulation. And this is only part of job!
learn to use a variety of tools such as clamps, drills, metal shears, pipe
benders. There is oxy-acetylene and arc welders as well as operating elevated
work platforms and scissor lifts.
An apprentice will
receive training and guidance in working safely on a roof including the correct
use of harnesses. A thorough safety plan is prepared before any work commences
above ground level.
David, who is a 1st
year apprentice, tells us that ‘you don’t want a fear of heights to do this
job’. He told us that he loves the variety of the work and says there’s more
variety than most people think.
This trade involves
plumbing and roof sheets, but don’t underestimate the importance of this. The
calculations required to ensure rainwater flows in the path and direction that
is optimal for the roof dimensions, structure and drainage points are extremely
important. Getting this wrong can cause catastrophic failure of the roof during
a heavy downpour. Imagine the effect this would have at your local shopping
In the Australian
environment it is always important to use water wisely through the use of water
tanks. A water tank is only useful when it’s able to store water. The correct
fall and drainage of your roof makes this happen.
In today’s ever increasing
demand for architectural boundaries to be pushed, the roof is not forgotten.
Curved roofs and walls create modern, sleek designs to homes and commercial
properties. Metal roofing and cladding products lend themselves to these unique
and innovative designs.
Nicholas, is a 4th
year apprentice who began his apprenticeship as an adult at 21 years old. He
said that the training and experience he has gained during his apprenticeship
has given him the confidence and skill to move into a supervisory or leading
hand role, or even into his own business.
Daniel, is a
qualified tradesmen who started his apprenticeship with this company 15 years
ago and is still with them today in the role of Health Safety and Quality
Officer. This illustrates the versatility of this trade and the various career
pathways available throughout this industry.
The company that these
3 young men work for has retained 10 to 12 of their previous apprentices in a
variety of different roles. This company
believes in a ‘cradle to grave’ philosophy. They want their apprentices to
complete their trade qualification and stay with them. This is an example of
the value placed on great apprentices.
If you are
considering a trade in the construction industry, or know someone who is, roof
plumbing is definitely worth a closer look.
MBA & MRCAA will
be running a Roof Plumbing Pre Apprenticeship Course in November 2016 to
prepare the next wave of Roof Plumbing Apprentices.
information please contact MBA Apprenticeship Services on (02) 8586 3533 or
visit the website www.mbansw.asn.au/apprenticeships
02 8586 3555