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Natural slate manufacturer Welsh Slate is supporting roofing apprentices at Leeds College of Building.

Welsh Slate has taken its commitment to training and apprenticeships one step further by supporting a second college with materials and mentoring.

The North Wales-based manufacturer, part of the Lagan Group, had already donated more than eight pallets of roofing slates to South Lanarkshire College, sponsored a regional apprentice “craft” award there, and presented two CPD seminars to block release students on the four-year roof slating and tiling course to SCQF Level 7.

Now 10 apprentices and lecturers Chris Messenger and Tim Donegon from the roof training division of Leeds College of Building (and Andrew Rowlands and Paul Jenkins from the Wales National Roofing Training Group) have toured the company's largest quarry and production facilities at Penrhyn in Bethesda. Some of the apprentices even tried their hand at splitting slates under the watchful eye of production supervisor Martin Beattie.

The visit hosted by Welsh Slate north-west sales representative Colin Falconer and commercial director (roofing) Michael Halle follows the donation of two crates of roofing slates (as at South Lanarkshire College), with Colin also presenting a CPD seminar to 70 Level 3 students.

The day after the site tour the group visited the Welsh Slate Museum, with their overnight accommodation paid for by the Yorkshire Independent Roof Training Group.

Colin said: “It's important to Welsh Slate that we contribute to ensuring the supply of the next generation of roofing apprentices and that we maintain traditional roofing skills for the roofing industry. We are delighted to support Leeds College of Building's roof training division.”

The 10 apprentices from Leeds College of Building were Luke Bann, Will Emerson, Andrew Emerson, Michael Bermingham, Dan Norfolk, Gary McGowan, Liam Stewart, Harry Hillam-Thompson, Babar Kahn and George Wood.


Caption : Leeds College of Building lecturer Chris Messenger (centre) with some of his apprentices in Welsh Slate's Penrhyn Quarry.

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