Local lecturer raises the roof at world championships

Posted on 16/01/2013 by


An Edinburgh College lecturer has helped Team GB win a prestigious award at the World Championship for Young Roofers.

Bob Coutts, Roofing Lecturer, from Edinburgh College Granton Campus mentored the team of young roofers during the three day competition which took place in Lucerne, Switzerland and the fantastic effort from the team in during a freestyle roofing task saw them win the President’s Prize award.

The team impressed the judges with its creative natural slate work on a pitched roof with a dormer shed, beating off stiff competition from 11 other countries including Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

As well as the freestyle section, which is optional for team, Team GB entered two teams in the Pitched Roofing and Waterproofing categories and was narrowly pipped to a medal where Switzerland who took home the top prize in both.

Bob, who has been a lecturer in Roofing at Edinburgh College for over 35 years, as well as mentoring the GB team since 2002, said: “A big ‘well done’ to all of the young GB roofers who took part this year and they should be very proud of the work they completed and taking home this fantastic award.

“Being involved in projects and competitions such as this, helps students broaden their skills set and open their minds and creativity to different ways of working and thinking in the sector they are interested in. The competition really sets the bar in allowing students to see what they can achieve and it is a great boost for the students and indeed Edinburgh College.”

Since he started mentoring Team GB in the World Championship for Young Roofers, Bob has represented Edinburgh College and Great Britain in Russia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Belgium, South Africa and Ireland and has helped secure two bronze medal s in Dublin 2002 and Cape Town 2005 and a Gold medal in Belfast in 2010.

The affiliation with the championships has ensured that Edinburgh College now has a stellar reputation throughout Europe as a leading education body.

Now in its 24th year, the World Championships for Young Roofers is organized by the International Federation for the Roofing Trade (IFD) and the competition sees team from all over Europe compete in three categories; Pitched Roofing, Metal Roofing and Waterproofing or Flat roofing, as well as an optional freestyle category where the teams can compete for the President’s Prize.

This year the event was hosted by the Swiss National Federation of Roofing Contractors and in order to test their skills to comply with Swiss specifications the UK team were given the opportunity to train in the host country for two weeks, helping them adhere to the national standards and use of unfamiliar materials and methods..