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College roofing apprentices inspire the next generation

28 January 2021

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After acing their roof slating and tiling apprenticeships, two newly-qualified roofers are helping the next generation make their mark.


Former Bolton College apprentices Brad Heffron and Liam Dooley not only impressed their roofing tutors, they’ve also made a big impression on their bosses, having been chosen to mentor first-year roofing apprentices for their employers.


Liam, who works for The Roofing Co (NW) Ltd, has taken one young roofer under his wing whilst Brad, employed at P Duckworth Roofing Services, is mentoring three apprentices.


Both young men have already shown their commitment to the trade – in 2018 Brad was named Roofing Apprentice of the Year at The North West Roof Training Group Apprentice of the Year Competition, an annual collaboration between the College’s roofing department and The North West Roof Training Group.


Brad and Liam were also chosen by their tutors to compete in SkillBuild, the largest multi-trade competition in the UK for construction trainees and apprentices, with Bolton College hosting the regional heats in 2019.  


Liam, 20, said: “Roofing is in my blood - as a third generation roofer in my family, I am honoured to be sharing my skills with our new apprentices.”


Brad, 20, added: “To be able to support these apprentices as they learn the trade is a real privilege and they’re already displaying a lot of talent.”


The College, which is part of the University of Bolton Group, is one of a limited number of Roofing Apprenticeship providers in England, helping to meet a huge demand for qualified roofers in the North West - due to construction and housing developments, 400 more roofers are needed in the region by 2022.


Teresa Dooley, from The Roofing Co (NW) Ltd, said: “Liam is a talented roofer and having now gained his NVQ Level 3, he’s showing good leadership qualities. It’s wonderful that as a mentor, he is now able to pass on his knowledge and skills to new apprentices.”


Paul Duckworth, owner of P Duckworth Roofing, said: “I started out as a roofing apprentice at Bolton College and I learnt a great deal from my mentor, so I wanted to pass this opportunity on to Brad.


“It’s a win-win situation – the apprentices are gaining a lot from Brad’s support and he’s feeling the benefit too – he’s displayed really good leadership and management qualities and his confidence is soaring.”


Luke O’Gorman, Roofing Lecturer at the College, added: “It’s a testament to the abilities of both Brad and Liam that they’ve been chosen as mentors. They were outstanding apprentices and they’ve proven to be outstanding roofing professionals too – I predict bright futures for them both.”