The CITB Skills and Training fund provides an extra incentive to small employers to deliver construction training aligned to the existing CITB grants scheme with the addition of Leadership and Management Training. 


CITB registered employers with the following PAYE staff can apply for the Skills and Training fund once over 12 months:

  • Employers with 1 to 49 PAYE staff can receive up to £5,000.

  • Employers with 50 to 74 PAYE staff can receive up to £7,500.

  • Employers with 75 to 99 PAYE staff can receive up to £10,000


If you would like to apply for this funding, please contact Nichola on who will be happy to complete the application for you.



This picture looks like any ordinary photograph showing

some of the apprentices enrolled on a CITB apprenticeship

programme at Rooftrain in Exeter.  But what the readers

won’t be aware of, is the history between behind the


Rob Siddall’s, (third from left) career in roofing started at the age of 22 when he was enrolled by his employer at the time on a CITB roof slating and tiling apprenticeship.  Unfortunately, through no fault of his own, Rob found himself out of a job.  Unsure whether he would be able to continue his apprenticeship, Rob discussed his options with the trainer Alan Lander.  Alan, who at that time still had his own roofing company, was so impressed with Rob’s abilities and commitment to his training, he offered Rob a job – most importantly, it meant Rob was able to continue on the apprenticeship programme.  “Rob was a great pupil, always really keen to learn so I was happy to give him a job.” Alan commented.


Rob spent 4 years working for Alan and eventually left to start his own company, Roofsmart, in 2010.  It wasn’t long before Rob found himself so busy he needed to take on help.  This came in the shape of Sean Keenor, who had previously been training to become an Accountant.  Rob realised Sean would need training and enrolled him on the same roof slating and tiling apprenticeship he did himself all those years back.


Fast forward to 2018, and the roof slater and tiling apprenticeship has been transformed into the fully funded CITB Specialist Applied-Skills Programme.  The programme is still administered by the South West Roofing Training Group (SWRTG) and delivered by Alan Lander of Rooftrain and Rob has enrolled another employee, Nick Davey, on the current programme.  There is no age limit on the CITB apprenticeship and Nick at 34 is proof that you are never too old to learn a new trade.  Like Sean, who achieved second place at Skillbuild in 2014, Nick too has been entered for SkillBuild this year.


When speaking to Rob about apprenticeships, he said “Working for Alan was a great opportunity for me because I knew I was being taught the correct way and it gave me the right skills and confidence to eventually go on and set up Roofsmart.  I think apprenticeship are very important and they can kick start a good solid career, so enrolling Sean and Nick was definitely a smart thing to do.”


Rob has recently registered to become an assessor with the help of the SWRTG and funding by the CITB.  Alan went on to say, “Assessing is the natural progression for Rob and I know he has the experience to make a great assessor.  He has always been keen to learn and Rob will bring this skill to his assessing.”


For Rob, things have gone from strength to strength and for the last 5 years, Rob has run his business from his premises in Copplestone.  And as you can see from the pictures below, the delegates on the pitched roofing apprenticeship definitely know their stuff!


What is the Redland Apprentice of the Year 2019?

The challenge is on for roofing apprentices, who are one day looking to run their own business, to come forward to convince us that they are the most likely to succeed!


Ten finalists will be invited, along with their course tutor, to attend the two-day final on the 26th and 27th June.


It’s a competition that will test several aspects of a well-rounded apprentice, not just skills on the roof. Finalists will receive professional coaching on all aspects of running a roofing business and will take part in “knowledge-sharing sessions” with roofing industry leaders, before battling it out to see who the Redland Apprentice of the Year 2019 will be!

The standard of workmanship this year was so high and the scoring between the finalists was so close, the judges decided to create an additional award in recognition of this.    The theme this year is 'motivation'.


Our warmest congratulations to former soldier, Tom Thompson winner of the Rising Star category in the RCI Pitched Roofing Awards 2018.  Tom is no stranger to achieving such accolade for his roofing skills.  In June this year, Tom was awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ in the Pitched Roofing category of the BMI Redland Apprentice of the Year competition, he also came second in the SkillBuild finals in 2017 with the judge’s commendation. 

Tom’s career in roofing started after Tom’s time in the army came to an end; he was taken on by Andy King of A L King Roofing as an apprentice via the fully funded CITB Specialist Applied-Skills Programme administered by the South West Roofing Training Group (SWRTG) and delivered by Alan Lander of Rooftrain.  The training was a 23 day programme, delivered over a 12 month period with another 6 months to complete the assessment.  On completion, Tom was awarded an NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Roofing Occupations – Roof Slater and Tiler and was able to apply for his blue CSCS skilled workers card. 


“Even back then, Tom had something special – I was really keen for him to represent the SWRTG at SkillBuild and the Apprentice of the year, and he did himself and us proud” said Alan.

Tom has recently registered to become an assessor with the help of the SWRTG and funding by the CITB.  Alan went on to say, “ Once Tom has gained some experience, with the skills from his army days and his passion and enthusiasm for roofing, Tom will be a natural at assessing and teaching.  But whatever route Tom chooses to take in the future he will be an inspiration and an asset to the roofing industry”

Capture 1.PNG

Roofing at Apprenticeship Expo Exeter


The Apprenticeship Expo hosted by Exeter College is the biggest Apprenticeship and careers event to take place in the South West annually, during National Apprenticeship week. This unique, free of charge event is designed to inspire, enthuse and motivate people to think about prospective careers and progression options.  With over 50 employers exhibiting, the event gave visitors the chance to speak to real businesses and current apprentices to discover the benefits of earning and learning through an Apprenticeship.


For the second year running and in collaboration with Building Growth South West, the South West Roofing Training Group (SWRTG) joined the Construction and Built Environment Zone at the Apprenticeship Expo at Exeter College on 6 Feb.

The construction zone provided visitors with informative stands which highlighted and gave an insight into the various roles available within the construction industry.  The was reinforced by each sector providing a variety of hands-on demonstration activities.  The SWRTG gave the visitors an opportunity to try their hands at slate cutting and assembling interlocking tiles on a mini roofing rig supplied by the Yorkshire Independent Roofing Training Group.

Alan Lander, Rooftrain said, “Promoting the SAP Roof Slating and Tiling programme at this event is a great way of highlighting the opportunities available to those wanting to get into construction.  It’s been non-stop today, but it’s great to see so many people having a go and asking questions.”

The pitched roofing apprenticeship (Specialist Applied-Skills Programme) delivered by the SWRTG is open to people of all ages - from school leavers to those wanting a career change and provides the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification while earning money.


Additional information regarding apprenticeships in roofing is available by contacting Nichola Smith on 01395 233667 or email on




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17th January 2020 at Melksham - all welcome!