Roofing and Cladding Training


Photo by William Wendling on Unsplash

Roofing or domestic roof construction is the process of creating the ‘framing and roof covering that is found on most detached houses in cold and temperate climates.’ Most buildings are built using timber as the main framework for the shape of the roof. This is then followed by cladding; the applying of materials on top to protect against the elements as well as to offer thermal insulation.

Why are they important skills?

Every single building has to go through these two stages early on in construction. Every roof must have a strong framework and every roof must be covered with materials to protect against the environment. Both usually work in conjunction with each other and both are skills which are essential in most construction projects. And what’s more, SB Skills offer the perfect Roofing and Cladding course to for people interested in pursuing a career in these fields. 

Let’s look at them a little closely…

Roofer – Job Description

A roofer, is a construction worker who specialises in all aspects of roof construction; from roofs repair, replacement to installation. They use a variety of materials including timber, metal, bitumen and shingles; all important components for the framework of any roofs. Roofing is typically very hard work; it entails a lot of heavy lifting and bending, and most importantly, awareness of hazards all around. A Roofer will work in all sorts of conditions; from sun to snow to ice to rain which means that he or she must be prepared to work in all types of weather conditions.

Types of Roofers

There are many various types of roofers:

  • Shinglers – who mainly install shingles, “a thin, flat piece of wood or other material” (1) such as tiles or any such material than can be nailed on a roof.
  • Metal roofers- those who specialise fitting primarily metal panels.
  • Flat roofers- those who specialise in foam roofs.
  • Hot roofers- those who work using tar-based products.

There are also varies types of roofer depending on the industry, typically in the category of:

  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Factory Shed roofers
  • Residential roofers

Even more so, depending on the materials that are used, roofing can be categorised as:

  • Steel roofing
  • PVC roofing
  • Polycarbonate roofing
  • Steel roofing
  • Terrace roofing
  • And more…

Having a skill-set in all types of roofing is usually better than specialising in one area as many jobs require multiple roofing requirements.

Cladding- Job Description

In construction, “cladding is used to provide a degree of thermal insulation and weather resistance, and to improve the appearance of buildings.” A cladder is someone who  fits cladding materials, such as soffit tiles (waterproof sheets) to the roof. This step is done after the roofing process. Like a roofer, a cladder must also be able to work in all types of weather as well as lift heavy equipment throughout the day. Roofing and cladding are job roles that go hand in hand being building processes that follow up from each other.


Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

Types of Cladding

Cladding can be in the form of many materials, such as, metal, brick, vinyl as well as composite materials which include wood, aluminium, as well as wheat/ rice straw fibres.

Rainscreen Cladding – a type of cladding which is designed to protect against the natural elements whilst offering thermal insulation. It is more of a ‘system’ in the form of a double-wall construction that uses an outer layer to protect against the elements as well as an inner layer that prevents heat loss using the appropriate cladding material.  Cladding is also the feature that controls the element of noise from both entering and exiting a building.

Window Capping –  a type of cladding which refers to the applying of aluminium or vinyl sheeting cut to fit over the exterior of a building. The main purpose is for long-lasting interior and better protection against the elements.

You can learn more about roofing and cladding or gain an NVQ today with SB Skills.

NVQ in Roofing and Cladding is an example.


“Domestic roof construction: what’s involved? – The Manufacturer”. The Manufacturer. Retrieved 2018-11-08.

 Adam Boult (16 June 2017). “What is cladding, and why can it be a fire risk?”. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 June 2017.

Written by Charlotte H. Lawrence

Virtual Reality Forklift Training: Do we need it?

E-Commerce and in-store orders that are delivered to your front door are becoming increasingly prevalent. Notability, orders that would have previously taken 5+ days can be delivered the following day or, in some cases, in only a few hours! So what has caused this to happen and can Forklift Training keep up? 

To satisfy demand, retailers and warehouse management companies are increasingly buying up storage space closer and closer to customers. This diversification cuts delivery times down massively and enables these companies to beat their competition. This is more apparent in the US, where the renting market on warehouses increased a massive 9.9% from 2013 to 2015.

But how is there even the demand for these services? Online, delivered products now account for roughly 20% of modern purchasing. This means that online shopping is only going to grow as a market and warehousing, along with forklift use, is going to grow along with it.


Forklift Training

With the increasing growth of the warehouse sector, the demand for competent, well trained and experienced forklift drivers is increasing. Forklift driving is not simple. To avoid accidents and injuries that can harm and disrupt fellow warehouse workers and businesses, proper forklift training is required. This is because, unlike other warehouse jobs, forklift driving is not a pre-set routine that utilises a conveyor belt.

There is a global demand for Forklift Training. In the US, according to the website, 1,515 adverts for forklift operators are shown. Compared to 1,748 jobs for all other warehouse professions, including dock workers, production, pickers, material handlers and package handlers, this represents a massive demand for Forklift Operators and drivers. According to the UK Bureau of Labor Statistics, this represents a projected growth of more than 12% for the next year.

With the increasing industrialisation of Asia, Africa, South America and Russia who are focusing on repairing and investing in energy infrastructure, forklift operators are in demand to move and organize pipeline components.

Finally, the UK has its own demand for forklift operators. With the increasing popularity of companies such as Amazon and Ocado, the british public have grown a taste for fast product delivery. Combined with new markets requiring forklift operators that may emerge post-Brexit, the UK needs forklift operators and Forklift Training.

Why is forklift training so important?

Forklift driving is an incredibly technical art. It is an incredibly important aspect in the warehouse supply chain. Therefore, failure to properly execute this job can be disastrous to both the business and other warehouse workers. This means that proper and effective training is demanded for this modern, relevant profession.


Read More about this from the Huffington Post…

Meeting the urgency for forklift operator training

To fill the demand for forklift operator jobs, newer training technologies such as using virtual reality (VR) software are being used.

U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes the VR training and certification as a viable option to meet the training demands in the market. The training can be done at work or at home on a desktop, laptop, mobile phone or tablet as long as the student has an internet connection.

To get forklift operators ready for warehouse work requires several skills beyond pushing the “on” button. OSHA requirements include:

• Forklift workers should not operate a forklift unless or until they have been trained and licensed.
• All comprehensive written and safety programs have been completed.
• Training must address issues that affect the stability of a forklift.
• Stand-up forklift operators must hold on firmly, and lean away from the point of impact using rear-entry access.
• All operator restraints must be used on sit-down forklifts.
• All lift truck operators must do a full safety inspection of their vehicle prior to starting work.

Newer forklift technology

The days of forklifts operating in dirty warehouses are long gone. Technology has transformed the old forklift with barcode scanners and labels on packages, shipping pallets that tell shippers and receivers exactly what’s in that bundle of freight as soon as it hits the loading dock.

Forklifts and trucks are now equipped with Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. RFID technology is essential to warehouse operations. Radio waves can locate, read and gather information stored on a tag printed on an object. The tag can be read from several feet away using a scanner. The information is downloaded to a database, logged for storage and recorded using electronic data interchange (EDI) technology.

The data-gathering process sends the information to distribution centers and is then sent throughout all segments of the supply chain.

There are a lot of moving parts in the shipping and transporting process to keep the supply chain going. In order to load and offload cargo from the plant to distributors and then from distributors to consumers takes fully trained warehouse operation personnel.

Logistics is critical to keep the supply chain process going. To stay up with the demand and warehouse technology at all levels, in particular, the forklift operation, is essential.


Author: Geri Spieler


New High-Skilled Jobs in the UK with Construction Training Transformations and New Building Techniques.


A recent government publications from Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation has suggested that following a £72 million injection into the ‘Core Innovation Hub’, new jobs and high skilled positions in the construction industry will be promoted. In this project, research and development in alternative manufacturing methods such as digital modelling and offsite manufacturing will be promoted to advance knowledge and encourage new approached to construction methods, resulting in new jobs in additional construction industries.

Construction Safety

This diversification of the UK Construction industry is intended to introduce more standardised, modular, components and process’ to the constriction industry that will remove a number of construction health and safety risks and increase construction efficiency.

With these emerging technologies and the alternative skill sets that will be required by construction training, the government hopes to solve issues around unemployment, and access to opportunities for people with disabilities.

CPCS Training

In light of these new advances in Virtual Reality construction and the wide-spread engagement with, and adoption of, modular building using off-site construction methods, it is likely that CPCS Training and CPCS Card attainment will change to reflect the ways that construction plants will operate in the future. Indeed, the CPCS Management Committee continually amend and review the CPCS Training scheme when health issues, technological advances and new plant types are introduced and adopted in the UK.

Specific Goals

Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation cite long training process’ and an ageing construction workforce in the building trade as threats to the continued applicability of British constriction. This new project aims to make construction training more attractive and easier for younger generations.

Health and Safety concerns can also be remedied by this approach where construction design can be formulated in 3d modelling software and components can be manufactured in factories. This increases precision, reduces waste, allows a unified freedom of design in construction and can be designed to remove dangerous arduous tasks such as working at height.

Photo courtesy of Bryden Wood Technology Limited.

Retraining Construction Industries

New construction methods are touted as being incredibly simple when compared to traditional methods of construction. Here, a couple of weeks are considered enough time to learn the assembly process and can allow for a wider and more diverse range of people to enter the construction industry.

Sam Stacey, Challenge Director, UK Research and Innovation, said:

“We need to transform construction so that we can create affordable places to live and work that are safer, healthier and use less energy.”

“By taking a lead in the UK, we can increase our ability to export. Global demand for efficient buildings is rising rapidly, driven by the pressures of urbanisation, affordability and the need to cut emissions.”

Virtual Reality Construction to revolutionise Construction Training and Construction Design?

The Core Innovation Hub will intend to support and develop the use of digital design, advanced manufacturing, robotics, droned and augmented and virtual reality. This is to emulate the developments that has happened in other sectors of the economy including the automotive sector, with an aim to make construction faster, cheaper and more sustainable. The development of these technologies will also promote the implementation of smart sensors and digital systems in buildings.

During a visit to the Building Research Establishment (a funding recipient of the Core Innovation Hub), Business and Industry Minister Richard Harrington said:

“We have the opportunity to revolutionise construction in the UK and the Core Innovation Hub will help us build smarter, greener and more efficient buildings much faster and cheaper than we do now.”

“From the introduction of virtual reality to off-site manufacturing, our modern Industrial Strategy, is helping the UK construction sector to develop new techniques and skills – modernising the sector and delivering the homes and buildings our nation needs.”

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Robert Jenrick said:

“Our manufacturing industry is vital to the UK, contributing billions to the economy every year.”

“This new fund will see it partner with our construction and digital sectors to revolutionise the way we develop crucial infrastructure. It will enable us to build in more efficient and cost-effective ways, boost productivity and ensure we are fit for the future.”


Is it Illegal to tow a trailer with Earthmoving Equipment?

JCB Large Machinery Logo

Towing a trailer on the back of heavy earthmoving equipment is a common sight on many sites in the UK. This includes towing attachments, generators, lighting towers and other required equipment. However, in new advice provided to JCB by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), the agency stated that the use of any earthmoving equipment to tow any trailer on the public highway is illegal, even when the only cargo is transport attachments.

This is important news in the Plant Operator industry because towing a trailer with attachments was previously understood to not be classified as “Engineering Plant” by the wider industry.

Following the news, JCB states that they plan on lobbying for a change to this legislation in their blog post here:

They cite in this post that their main point of contention is that is is legal to tow a trailer with attachments behind a car or van, but not a 11.5 tonne excavator which is speed limited! They also state that they will be be working with their engineering devision to find solutions that allows attachments to be carried on-board their excavators and other large machinery.


Tesla Roofing Tiles are now in Production

Tesla Roofing tiles with integrated solar panels are now going into production.


Image Credit: Tesla

After the 2016 announcement, the Tesla roofing tiles were expected to be the next best thing. More durable than the standard tile, easier to clean and containing an invisible solar panel that transforms the utility of your whole roof; these are expected to revolutionise the roofs of homes all over the globe. These tiles also come in multiple styles to match the aesthetic of all sorts of homes and will be cheaper than conventional solar panels! We envision these tiles will be changing the way roofers coming through our Roofing and Cladding NVQ will be working in the future.


These tiles have now finally started to go into production at Tesla’s facility in New York according to Reuters. It is also reported that Tesla is now surveying houses that signed up to the $1000 reserve scheme, meaning the company likely expects to begin shipping and installation soon.


Prices for these tiles is expected to come in between 10% and 15% less than that of a new roof and solar panel array. These roofing tiles are designed to mimic many different styles, ensuring that your home has the perfect solar tile to match.

Cost and Maintenance

Depending on utilities costs in your local area, estimations have been placed that a 30-year use of solar tiles could generate not only savings on energy costs but even generate profit! Tesla has given an example of Maryland, USA where with tax credits and a Tesla Powerwall, the home generates $8000 in its lifetime.

If you want to learn more about our Roofing and Cladding Courses you can find out more about recent developments here.

Read more below…

The environmental benefits of solar roofing are many. Not only do they help relieve the burden on fossil fuel generation, they also do so by reclaiming space that’s already utilized. New solar farms are excellent for providing increasing amounts of electricity to larger areas but developers often have to use large swaths of land to ensure their farms are economically viable. Like other solar panels used for domestic energy supply, Tesla’s solar roofing tiles take advantage of areas that are already used up by buildings, but they do it in a more cost effective way.


Author: Patrick Caughill

Link to article:


Crawler Crane Operator pay rises by 54% in only two years?

Crawler Crane Operator pay rises by a whopping 54% in the last two years, compared to 11% for the rest of the construction industry since the Brexit referendum, according to staffing software company.

The Construction industry is a fast-paced industry that sees changes in construction techniques, and popular projects. However, Crawler Crane Operators have seen an astronomical increase in average pay of 54% according to Engage Technology Partners, who have analysed data collected since June 2016. This analysis of the pay changes was attributed pay rises to changes in migrant labour trends.

Additionally, electrical testers saw pay increases of 34% and steel fixers have seen a rise of 22%.

The Director of Engage, Drey Francis commented; “In its report on the potential impact of Brexit on the industry, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) highlighted the sheer extent of reliance on international staff, with some locations such as London reporting that over half of the construction workforce consists of migrant workers. While there’s certainly no agreement on the terms of our exit, the impact on the industry is already being noted – and we can expect to see wages rise further in the near future as talent demands continue to stretch.”

Read more below about the latest in the Crane Operator Industry.

Paul Johnson, director of GH Johnson Crane Hire, one the UK’s biggest crawler crane hire companies, said: “As someone who actually pays crawler crane operators I can assure you that this is utter garbage.”

He added: “The construction sector as a whole is probably busier than it was two years ago – meaning there are more crawler crane operators in full-time employment – but pressure on crane rental rates, caused by competition and cheap finance, means that crawler crane operators’ pay has been almost flat since 2016.”

Author: The Construction Index

Link to original article: 

New Zero-Emission Electric Forklift.

The first wave of Large capacity machinery and Forklifts are coming to the construction industry. Electrification is commonplace in the modern era with things like cars and busses seeing increasingly large battery sizes that enable them to run for full days without recharging.


Wiggins Yard eBull Forklift: XL Lifts

The New Wiggins Yard eBull Forklift is the first commercialised fully electric large capacity forklift to be made in the US. Although it is currently available in the US, we don’t have any current indication of a UK release date.

The forklift has a capacity of 30,000-70,000 pounds and included lithium-ion batteries with fast-charging, provided by the modern electric trucking company Thor Trucks. This is the same company who is currently preparing to take on Tesla with their latest vehicle which has been picked by the American Package Delivery company UPS to be used as a part of their fleet of vehicles.

COO for Thor Trucks, Giordano Sordoni commented: “Forklifts are one of the many practical applications of fully-electric powertrains.” “The vehicles stay close to their home base and have access to industrial power, plus the noise reduction and increased efficiency will benefit industrial yards tremendously.”

We hope to see many more electric forklifts in use in the close future in addition to being included in our forklift training courses.

You can read more from the original article below…

XL Lifts president Mike Marzahl says Wiggins Lift Company is revolutionising the high-capacity, electric forklift industry.

“The first of its kind, the Wiggins Yard eBull will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sound pollution, while enabling industrial companies to do their jobs.”

The biggest driver of demand for lithium-ion batteries is the global push for the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) and the phasing out of internal combustion engines.

The global automotive battery market is expected to be worth $US54.5 billion ($75.2 billion) by 2022 — growing at a rate of 5.7 per cent each year.

Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Rory McCarthy told Stockhead that the market for EVs in terms of battery demand will far exceed that of stationary storage.

There also won’t be any substitute for lithium in batteries — at least not for the foreseeable future, according to Mr McCarthy.

“We have seen all the major car manufacturers invest upstream in the lithium-ion battery value chain meaning they are now banking on it, and consumer electronics, we expect this to be the dominant technology in the market,” he said.

“The scale of demand expected for lithium-ion, particularly for EVs will drive technology improvements, cost reductions and ultimately reduce technology risk making it a lower cost and more bankable form of battery storage than others out there. There will be a place for other technologies, but lithium-ion will dominate.”

To satisfy the demand coming from car makers, at least 3.5 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) will be required.

By comparison, just 200,000 tonnes of LCE is produced at the moment.

Author: Angela East

Link to article:


Common School Science Equipment found to contain Asbestos!

Credit: Sky News

Common School Science Equipment found to contain Asbestos!

Gause Mats used in common secondary school science experiments have been found to contain asbestos.

Gause Mats containing asbestos have been sold by two companies to schools around the UK. These common pieces of science equipment are used in tandem with bunson burners which creates the risk of asbestos becoming airborne. As a result, schools across the UK have been urged to stop science experiments until the safety of these products can be ascertained. Many schools are now halting and delaying science experiments at in the new school year.


Chris Keates, general secretary for NASUWT union stated according to Sky News;


“It is shocking that suppliers, clearly it seems only interested in profit not people, have distributed such life-threatening equipment to schools putting children and teachers and other staff at risk.”


Chris has also added that it is “unacceptable” that the suppliers of asbestos contaminated gause were not named as the information could help schools to work out if they have acquired “potentially deadly material”.


Schools are known to have received guidance on the use of gause dating back to 1976 and there are now growing calls to name the two main suppliers of asbestos contaminated gause.


The Health and Safety Executive has however commented that they believe the risk of harm being caused by asbestos contaminated gause wire is “extremely low” and schools should only stop using gause as a precautionary measure.


Regardless, technicians and teachers are being advised to treat any suspected asbestos contamination seriously by disposing of the hazardous waste in double baggs or by sealing cupboards where gause is stored until it can be confirmed that the products are safe for use.


The Health and Safety Executive has said that their “limited quantitative testing” on gauze from both suppliers demonstrated a 20% – 30% asbestos contamination rate. However, not all samples showed the presence of the rare asbestos, tremolite.


If you are working in the construction and waste management profession, you can have a look at our RoSPA and IATP approved online Asbestos Training course and our equivalent asbestos course for architects and designers!


Read more about this story below…


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told Sky News that it is “limited by legal process” in what it can say about the suppliers involved, but said both companies are actively cooperating in its investigation.

A spokeswoman added that it is not clear how many schools, colleges and other users have been affected.

The Department for Education said: “Following advice from the Health and Safety Executive we have immediately written to all secondary schools and colleges advising them to take steps to remove and dispose of potentially hazardous mesh gauze used in science lessons.

“We will continue to liaise with the HSE and CLEAPSS [the organisation which advises local authorities and schools on science and technology] over this issue.”

Officials are investigating how they entered the UK in the first place as EU laws prevent asbestos from being used – and the HSE believes the affected gauze mats are imports. Enforcement notices have been served on the two suppliers involved.

In June and July, several makes of gauze mats in New Zealand were recalled because they were also found to contain tremolite asbestos. However, there is nothing to suggest that the companies affected by these recalls were supplying equipment to the UK.

The NASUWT is demanding to know how the government will support affected schools, which are being told they must pay for affected gauzes to be disposed of as hazardous waste, as well as buy replacements.

A Department for Education spokeswoman told Sky News that schools should seek compensation from their suppliers.

Author: Sonnor Sephton

Link to origional article:

Forklift Drivers stop robbery getaway vehicle!

Forklift Drivers for Hardware store stop robbery through heroics and quality forklift operation

Credit: GreenEarth/Youtube

Although we work with forklift operators often through our popular Forklift Training and Forklift Courses, we have never seen anything like this! A group of wannabe robbers were stopped in their tracks when attempting to escape by a group of forklift drivers working at the hardware store. The group of forklift drivers team up to stop the robbers by blocking and trapping the getaway drivers vehicle. Amazing work like in an action movie!

This CCTV footage of the forklift worker and trade parking bay shows the getaway driver pull into the parking space outside of the store, wait for the robber and then attempt to flee around the one-way system in the store carpark. Fortunately a quick thinking forklift driver was able to block the exit with their forklift after reversing in front of the car.

Read more below…
This man shows is a real hero, trying to stop these robbers, who might have been armed, from escaping by blocking their way. The car then reverses and does a U-turn trying to go into another direction, but other workers get into the unoccupied forklifters and block the getaway car on the other entrance.

The dramatic footage then shows the driver of the red saloon suddenly pull out and speed off, apparently aware that the suspected robbers had no chance of pulling off a robbery of the massive hardware shop.

Another forklift driver reverses back and blocks their path, before another two of the workhorse vehicles appear and block it from the rear, in the drama in the city in the Czech republic near the country’s western border with Poland. After this heroic maneuver, the car is caged in. Hopefully these bad boys were brought to justice!

Credit to ‘DEK building materials/Youtube’.

Author: rumblestaff