When you start out as an apprentice roofer there is going to be a lot to learn and take in but try not to panic as you don’t have to learn everything in the first year.
Even when you are through your apprenticeship and become a qualified roofer this is very similar to getting your driving licence, this is where the knowledge and all your previous years of practice get the chance to come together.
It’s always important to remember that the learning with roofing is never done and every day should be treated as a school day.
When I was serving my apprenticeship it was pretty normal for there to be lay offs when work dried up and it wasn’t everyone who managed to keep and finish their apprenticeship so I have put together 5 tips that will help you finish your apprenticeship and keep your job.
- Attendance and Timekeeping
This is an easy way to demonstrate that you are reliable and can be counted on as an apprentice. If you can take care of yourself and make sure you always prioritise your job and turn up every day as well as being on time then this will go a long way with your employer and your colleagues. Don’t rely on others to get you to your work, if you can take responsibility and commit to this then it’s a really easy win to get ahead of others as not everyone takes this seriously, it will also build a habit in you that will serve you well for your full career. Loyal and reliable employees are always looked upon favourably for promotions and pay rises. And should the work dry up and people are being laid off you have at least ticked the basics of keeping your job.
- Having a good attitude and not taking yourself too seriously
We have covered the basic steps of turning up everyday and on time so the next step is turning up to work with the right attitude. If you turn up to work keen to learn, willing to work hard and you are able to not take yourself too seriously then this will go down well with your employer and colleagues. You have to be willing to ask questions and maybe look a little silly sometimes and there will naturally be a lot of banter in the construction industry so just be open to having a laugh, although there is a line and don’t be scared to speak up if someone takes the fun too far with you.
- Always ask lots of questions
When you are an apprentice it can be easy to get bored waiting for your tradesman to tell you what to do next, so fill this gap by observing what they are doing and ask questions as to why they are doing things a certain way. This will start to build up your knowledge of the job and it will also show your tradesman you are keen to learn. So should they ask you to try something you will be able to remember some of the questions they have answered for you. Take notes if easier to remember, there aren’t many apprentices would do this but it will put you miles ahead of the competition. If you want to be an above average roofer you will need to do above average things.
- Don’t Be Scared To Make Mistakes
If your tradesman asks you to attempt a task then they are looking to test you and find out if you have been watching and listening to what they have been teaching you, this is also a sign that they trust you and believe you are capable. So grab the opportunity with both hands and give it your best go, if you don’t get it quite right just ask your tradesman for some feedback and try it again another time. Don’t be put off by making mistakes as this is the only way we can gain the feedback we need to learn and remember this is the best place to make mistakes is now when under supervision.
- Have Fun & Enjoy Your Apprenticeship
This is the last and possibly the most important tip as to be good at something you usually have to enjoy it. If you can be enjoying the process of learning and having fun with your colleagues then it will help to overcome the hard ships of your roofing apprenticeship which can be physically demanding at times and can also involve working in all weathers. If you can follow these tips there is a good chance you will finish your apprenticeship and at the end of it you will have the attitude and skills needed to get kept on as a tradesman by your employer.
Well that’s my top 5 tips for you in you as an apprentice roofer, I hope you can use it to ensure a long and fruitful career in this amazing industry. If you would like any more tips or advice then keep an eye out for future blogs and episodes of my podcast Taylor Talks Trades.