Roofing News

Forster welcomes twelve new roofing apprentices

Earlier this week, Forster Roofing welcomed 12 new apprentices to their industry leading Skills Academy. The apprentices, who come from all over Scotland, include the company’s first female roofing apprentice, Adelle Martin from Denny.

“We need to build more homes in Scotland, to meet an increasing demand, but the industry wide skills shortage presents the greatest challenge to achieving growth” commented Forster Construction Director, Neil McIvor. “At Forster, we have a clear vision to create our own workforce that are trained to the Forster Standard, and taught to work the Forster way”.

The two year Modern Apprenticeship in Roof Tiling for New Build combines on-the-job structured learning, with contextualised off-site training at Forster’s own Skills Academy in Brechin. “The qualification was designed specifically to teach and nurture the skills required for roofing new homes in Scotland,” explained Human Resources Director Maureen Douglas, “and is supported by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council (SBATC).”

“Our latest intake of roofing apprentices has grown our total number to 23, all of which have been recruited within the last two years. Looking ahead, we intend to take on and train six new apprentices every year, and we’ve already started recruiting for our 2017 intake.”

New apprentice, Adelle Martin explained “The Forster apprenticeship programme provides a great opportunity to get into construction, and I’ve really enjoyed meeting different people and working as part of a squad.” Ross Henderson, who is also one of the recent in-take of apprentices said “I’ve been interested in working in the construction industry for quite a while. Even before joining the Forster apprenticeship programme, I completed a general construction course at college. My mentor Martin Quinn has been great, and I’ve really enjoyed learning from him.”

The apprentices are spending the first week (of their ten off-site residential training weeks) receiving training in Health and Safety Awareness and Emergency First Aid and an induction from CITB.

For further details visit

New apprentices join Forster

We were joined by Margo Williamson, Strategic Director at Angus Council, to welcome six new apprentices to our Skills Academy in Brechin. The apprentices have begun their first year of the newly created Modern Apprenticeship (NVQ) qualification in roofing, designed specifically for new-build housing.

Maureen Douglas, our Group HR Director said:

“To address the shortage of suitably skilled trades, we created the specialist modern apprenticeship with other roofing contractors supported by the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, CITB and South Lanarkshire College. We deliver the specialist apprenticeship from our own Skills Academy in two week residential blocks.  This allows our full-time trainer to embed the Forster standards of workmanship and enable the apprentices to complete their off-site training together. The programme has already been a resounding success and is being developed further to enable the up skilling and re-skilling of experienced workers.”

Margo Williamson, who oversees ‘schools and learning’ at Angus Council, met with the six new apprentices who are currently working at Forster’s Brechin based office with trainer Lindsay Kemp, who has been roofing Scottish homes for over 25 years.

The Angus Council Strategic Director said:

Angus is home to so many ambitious young people and I was delighted to meet some of these young people at the skills academy who told me how eager they are to learn new skills that will help them with their future careers. I’d like to wish them good luck and I look forward to hearing more from the group as they progress through their apprenticeship and beyond.

“We are committed to supporting these ambitions and recently we launched the Angus Shared Apprenticeship Programme which aims to address the challenges faced by the construction sector. Our new approach to learning and training for our young people in Angus aims to assist economic activity, improve skill levels, increase job satisfaction and employment.”

New apprentice, Ryan Beaton, from Glenrothes said:

“I feel incredibly lucky to be on the Forster programme as I know a lot of young people are looking for training and skills to secure work. I’ve not seen a level of training like this anywhere else, as the apprenticeship offers both on-site work and training in a workshop with a one-to-one mentor. You get time to ask questions and work to your own pace as you learn, then put your new skills to practice on-site.”

This year Forster Roofing has taken on a total of 12 Modern Apprentices through the newly built Academy that launched in May 2015. By the end of 2016 Forster Roofing Skills Academy aims to have taken on 24 apprentices, to ensure that the business continues to develop talent with the right skills and attitudes for the construction industry.

If you are interested in finding out more contact us. 

01356 628 560

Discussing the future of renewables in Scotland at Scotland Build 2015

Next week we will be in Glasgow for Scotland Build 2015 – a free to attend construction expo at the SECC.  At the expo our Chairman John, will be speaking as part of a panel, discussing “Building to enable Scotland’s renewable energy ambitions” alongside Ian Cuthbert of the Energy Saving Trust, Sepi Golzari-Munro from EG3 and Ken Ross OBE from Ross Development & Renewables.

With the looming subsidy changes due to be announced, discussing the future of solar in Scotland will be hugely important to those involved in the renewable industry. We are going to be looking at when and how renewable energy technologies will become part of everyday building and the issues the industry will face.

The panel discussion will take place on Thursday 26th November at 3.40pm and is free to attend. You can register online here. 

If you’re unable to make the panel discussion, our team will also be on-site at stand E39, showcasing the benefits of the Forster (integrated) roof and solar solution.

For more information contact us.

01356 628 560

Our integrated solar approach recognised at roofing awards

We are delighted to have picked up the ‘Solar’ award at the National Federation Roofing Contractor’s (NFRC) annual Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year Awards, for integrated roofing and solar works at Bellway Homes’, Cowdenbeath development.

Our project was recognised by the judges for its pioneering approach to integrating traditional roof tiling with in-roof solar Photovoltaic (PV) installation services at the 49 plot social housing development. The electricity generated by each solar array is being fed directly into tenant’s homes, reducing their requirement to buy in electricity from the grid, thereby empowering them to take greater control of their energy bills.

Forster Technical Manager, Alan Collins collected the award at a special luncheon hosted by BBC Scotland News presenter and reporter, Catriona Shearer at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow. The award is Forster’s seventh Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year Award in six years, with previous award winning projects including the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village, Fife Housing Innovation Showcase and Barratt Homes Evolution development in Aberdeen.

Forster Roofing Managing Director Steve Scott said: “We are delighted to pick up this award as it highlights the industry’s recognition of the huge benefits created by combining solar with roofing works. We are seeing demand for our integrated roofing and solar offer grow, as more and more developers recognise solar as a key measure in achieving the latest stepped change in the Scottish Low Carbon Building Standards. We envisage a not too distant future where solar PV will be installed on every new build home.”

The NFRC Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year awards recognise and reward outstanding standards of workmanship and technical expertise in the roofing industry within Scotland.

Read about other integrated projects, like the Commonwealth Games Athelete’s Village.

Forster Roofing Invests in Next Generation

Scotland’s leading roofing and roof-integrated solar contractor, Forster Roofing, has launched its own in-house Skills Academy to train the next generation and directly tackle the challenge faced by the construction industry’s skills shortage.

Forster Roofing, which is responsible for roofing one in five of Scotland’s new homes and is widely recognised for its commitment to developing young people, has recently invested in a new custom designed Skills Academy, which was opened to the first group of apprentices last month.

The Forster Academy, which is located in Brechin, Angus, is delivering a Modern Apprenticeship (NVQ) qualification in roofing, designed specifically for new-build housing. The two year integrated training programme supported by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council (SBATC), combines on the job structured learning with contextualised off-site training.

“We are directly addressing the acute skills shortage in the construction industry by recruiting new entrants, up-skilling and qualifying our existing workforce,” explained Forster Group Chairman, John Forster.

“We recognise that our future success is dependent on investing in the skills of both our current and potential future employees. Next month we will be celebrating 25 years of delivering our roofing service to the Scottish house build market, and we see our new Skills Academy as a key part of our future.”

Forster Human Resources Director, Maureen Douglas said,

“We are committed to taking on 24 apprentices over the next four years and are also preparing to launch a new specialist up-skilling programme which will re-qualify our entire workforce of 80 roofers to the ‘Forster Standard’.”

“The Forster apprenticeship programme works well because it covers such a wide range of roofing skills, including solar installation,” said Mark Murphy from Irvine, one of the current group of apprentices. “It trains us to deliver to the ‘Forster Standard’, giving us confidence that we’re working the smartest way.”

“It helps us become comfortable working with different products, preparing us to deal with the challenges we will face on-site,” added another apprentice, Jordan Boyle from Falkirk. “We also get to learn about other areas of the business including Purchasing and Surveying, helping us understand how projects come together.”

Forster Trainer, Lindsay Kemp has been roofing Scottish homes for over 25 years. “This new programme provides a fantastic opportunity for young people, equipping them with the necessary skills to make a successful career in roofing,” he commented. “I’m really enjoying the opportunity to train the next generation, driving forward industry quality and safety standards.”

Committed to excellence, Forster continues to lead the way in driving up standards of best practice in roofing. Construction Director Neil McIvor said: “We have developed our own ‘Forster Standard’. By wrapping up all the various industry standards and best practices into a single document, we have established a benchmark for all our roofs, setting the quality standard for our industry.”

Back to Back NFRC Solar Awards for Forster Roofing

For the second successive year Forster Roofing picked up the NFRC Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year Award for Solar at a special luncheon held at the Trades Hall of Glasgow earlier today.

This award was Forster’s sixth Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year Award in five years, following previous successes in the Services to the Community, Roof Tiling, Roof Slating and Solar categories. At last year’s event Forster picked up the Solar award for its involvement with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Athletes Village and in 2012 scooped the Sustainable award for its involvement with the Fife Housing Innovation Showcase.

This year’s winning project involved the installation of Solar Century’s C21e solar tiles in conjunction with roof tiling works for Barratt Homes, at its Evolution development in Aberdeen. The well situated city centre development of executive apartments presented Forster’s with the perfect opportunity to showcase its skills in combining roofing and PV installation services. It also shows how PV, particularly in-roof systems can present a relatively simple measure in helping meet new build carbon reduction targets. 454 C21e PV tiles were fitted on five of the sites 13 flatted blocks. This included a 172 tile (8.6kWp) and 144 tile (7.18kWp) array on the two prominent entry blocks.

Forster have worked with Barratt Homes – one of the UK’s largest house builders for over 20 years and have also combined its roof tiling and fully integrated PV installation service at Barratt’s Devona Gate, Dyce and Pinefields, Inverness developments.

Forster Roofing, Managing Director Steve Scott who collected the award from TV Presenter, Kaye Adams said “back to back Solar awards is a fantastic achievement and recognises our commitment to excellence and innovation in combining our roofing and solar PV services with the latest integrated PV products”.

Covering 1 in 5 of all new homes in Scotland, Forster has a proven track record built on 25 years of leading best practice in roofing. Committed to excellence Forster leads the way in new home and commercial solar PV delivery through its integrated service offering – from careful product specification and design right through to personable installation and after care.

The NFRC Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year awards recognise and reward outstanding standards of workmanship and technical expertise in the roofing industry within Scotland.

House Builder Prefers Integratred Roof PV

Scottish house builder Stephen have selected Forster Energy’s Redland integrated PV tiles for their latest development of 9 homes, in the picturesque village of Kinnesswood.  Forster have installed the PV roof tiles in conjunction with Redland Mockbond Mini Stonewold roof tiles. “Integrated PV was selected over on-top panels because of their superior finished appearance and their seamless integration with the roof tiles.

Redland were selected as their Integrated PV system is MCS-accredited and we were also able to use our current preferred roofing contractor, Forster’s, as they are an MCS-accredited installer for the Redland system”, explained Stephen’s Construction Manager Ron Sutherland.

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