Meet Andrew Addison, Heritage Building Skills Programme Roofing Apprentice
We asked Andrew Addison, Heritage Building Skills Programme Roofing Apprentice, some questions about his role and about his experiences as an apprentice.
What is your day to day job role? Where are you based and what does this job typically involve?
Everyday is different, when I am at work I get to work on a variety of different buildings and material types. I can be stripping a roof down one day and the next I could be shadowing an experienced colleague. I also do block release weeks at college where I learn about roofing alongside other apprentices. I’m currently working on St Oswald’s Church, a grade II listed building in York; we are retrofitting this historic standing structure with insulation to make it more energy efficient.
What are the main reasons why you chose to apply for this apprenticeship opportunity?
I really wanted to learn a skilled trade. This opportunity will open doors for me, so at the end I will have a qualification and some really good experience in roofing. This opportunity sounded unique, because it’s working with old buildings and I like the thought that the work I do will be there in perhaps another hundred years.
I like the thought that the work I do will be there in perhaps another hundred years.
Please could you briefly describe one area that you feel the programme has helped you develop in so far?
I’ve learned lots of hand craft skills, when I started, I had no previous experience at all with roofing so there has been lots of new things to learn. I think that this experience is also helping me to grow my confidence and it’s putting me in touch with lots of experienced trades people that I can learn from.
Not everyone gets to unlock the door of a listed church at 7am and see the sun coming through stained glass windows.
What has been the highlight of the programme so far?
The highlight of my experience so far is the buildings that we visit, the architecture and the settings of these buildings are really special. Not everyone gets to unlock the door of a listed church at 7am and see the sun coming through stained glass windows. For me that makes this job so interesting because I work in some really interesting locations. It’s amazing that I get the opportunity to work on roofs that where put up hundreds of years ago and I have a role in helping the buildings to be here and viable for many years to come.
What would you say to anyone else who may be considering applying to complete the programme? Why would you recommend it?
Old buildings are built to last, so you get a real sense of pride in your work to restore it, that might not get with a modern construction. And, you will have a trade at the end of the day.
I’m pleased that I took the apprenticeship route because it means that I earn a good wage and that supports me and my lifestyle, while I get to learn and have that support too.
This year's theme is 'build for the future'. Do you feel that this opportunity enables you to build for your personal future or that of the industry you are working in?
Yes this, this gives me a trade, but it also gives me a highly sought after set of skills, because not many people specialise in working with historic materials or have mastered the older craft methods they I have learnt. After this experience I will be able to help look after the historic buildings for the future. I’m pleased that I took the apprenticeship route because it means that I earn a good wage and that supports me and my lifestyle, while I get to learn and have that support too.
Editor’s note: this programme was called The Hamish Ogston Foundation Heritage Building Skills Programme until October 2023.