Josh Bickerstaff: “The favourite thing for me about being a roofer would be resolving problems for people”

Josh Bickerstaff Winner roofing apprentice Newcastle College

Here at CUPA PIZARRAS we believe that education is essential for the future of many trades. We invest heavily in encouraging young people to develop their skills and learn a beautiful yet traditional trade with a secure future through a career in roofing. One of the ways we do this is through the partnership we have formed with six colleges in the United Kingdom and support their roofing courses with materials and presentations from our team of natural-slate experts. We also sponsor each of colleges’ “Roof Slater of the Year” award through providing a personalised Slate Trophy.

One of the colleges that is part of this scheme is Newcastle College, who this year named Josh Bickerstaff as their Winner!

Alan Bessford, the roofing lecturer said that “Josh has made an excellent start to his roofing career. He has shown his ability to work well on all tasks set by his tutor, and has also made a big impression on his employer who has already started to put a lot of trust in Josh”.

We wanted to congratulate Josh and ask some questions about his roofing career so far.

The reason I got into roofing was because I had a great opportunity in front of me as it is a family business and wanted a good solid trade. The favourite thing for me being a roofer would be resolving problems for people, being proud of my work and also the socialising with my work colleagues”, he told.

The apprentices split their time between the colleges, learning the traditional craft and putting it into practice on site with their roofing companies. Even if it is not always an easy job, hard work always pays off. Josh was so honoured to win as he added: “I am very proud to win the Slater of the year award, it feels really good especially after putting all the hard work into my work on site and in college”.

Slate is a natural product. It is extracted from the quarry and installed on roofs after a simple production process, with no additional chemicals or processes. That’s why knowledge of this natural product and its properties is imperative, as a good installation makes all the difference and will guarantee the lifespan and performance of a roof.

slate roof

The students understand early on the importance of the quality of a material. Josh confirms:

The best feature on a natural slate as a roofing material would be that it has a great finish when completed correctly.

He adds that installing natural slate “is more complex than other roofing materials which I like as I like a challenge”. Once completed, those roofs are ready to stand the test of time.

The tweet from Newcastle College that showed Josh holding up the trophy became a mini viral sensation with ‘congratulations’ messages pouring in. Some of the students have also uploaded pictures of their work and assignments on Instagram, which reminds us the importance of social media in the industry today. “I personally think social media is a great tool for a roofer as it showcases your work especially for a sole traders who have just started up and will looking for jobs”, assures Josh.

roofing slate installation

We will closely follow the professional career of these young apprentices on social media! We are sure that thanks to their effort and the constant work of the colleges, the future of the profession is in good hands.

roofing studentSince you’re until here, we assume you are interested in learning more about slate roofing. Are you thinking about becoming a roofer? We can help you to find the education that best suits your needs! Contact us.