Press release

From protective roofs to useful roofs

Roofer training updated

32/2016 | Bonn, 19.07.2016

From protective roofs to useful roofs

While remaining true to its traditions, the skilled craft of the roofer is continually being updated. New working techniques need to be mastered and roofs are changing from “protective roofs to useful roofs” which result in increased demand for competent specialists in the area of renewable energy and energy measures. On behalf of the Federal Government, and together with social partners and experts from company practice, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) has therefore brought the three-year vocational training for roofers up to date. The new training regulation which comes into effect on 1 August means they have now become the building shell specialists.

In addition to the new tasks and techniques such as waterproofing, changes in the sector must also be considered. For example, companies able to provide training in the future which is more in line with requirements are increasingly becoming specialised. However, these still need to ensure the vocational flexibility of their craftsmen. This is achieved on the one hand by defining the essential skills, knowledge and capabilities of the roofers in the training regulation and on the other by allowing business practice some freedom in the design of content. This allows additional qualifications, such as regional qualifications - for example thatched roofing - as well as developments which cannot yet be foreseen to be integrated in the training.

As a result of the modernisation, the training should appeal more strongly to young people who are considering their future and who also wish to be involved in sustainable work as part of their professional life. They will receive a sound, varied and future-oriented training which regards the “building” system as a whole and places great importance on collaboration across trades. The five main areas covering roofing techniques, sealing technology and external wall cladding techniques, energy technology on the roof and wall, as well as thatched roof technology, provide the trainees with options for specialisation.

The main training content and tasks include, for example, wood handling and processing as well as the manufacturing of wooden components, rain proofing measures for roofing coverings, energy measures on the roof and wall, the covering and maintenance of roof and wall surfaces, sealing of roof surfaces and buildings, the mounting and installation of energy collectors and energy converters, the installation of electrical components as well as the manufacture and installation of systems for diverting rainwater.

The draft of the new training regulation was prepared by the BIBB together with specialists from training practice (employer organisation for companies and unions for the employees) and agreed with the Federal Ministries involved. The content, goals, duration and requirements of the updated training were also agreed upon with specialists from the vocational schools in order to ensure that company-based learning content is closely linked to that of the vocational school. The practical focus and the coordination of the learning location results in a high level of acceptance in training practice. In 2015, 3,099 new training contracts were concluded, of which over 98% came from men.

Roofers work in the construction sector, for example with roofers and roofing companies, provide advice to the specialist trade, or enter industry as developers or consultants. Following the training, and in addition to general and specialist seminars for advanced and continuing education and training, skilled workers may undertake further training to become qualified craftsmen and women. Following on directly from the craftsman examination, there is the opportunity to complete the preparation course for the master roofer examination which usually takes between six and nine months. Completion of the master examination provides the basis for setting up a business or for taking on a management position in the roofing trade. Following the master examination, there is also the opportunity to complete a university degree or to acquire an additional qualification in a related occupation - such as part 1/specialist theory and part 2/specialist practice of the master plumber or master carpenter examination.

Image material is available at www.bibb.de/pressefotos.

Contact at BIBB: Gunda Görmar

Specimen copy requested if printed.