The Mastic Asphalt Council (MAC) is closely aligned with New City College Hackney which is the national centre for mastic asphalt education and training. The mastic asphalt craft is taught by professional tutors at New City College Hackney and the traditional time-served apprenticeship is now incorporated into national vocational qualifications, leading to a Level 2 qualification.

MAC aims to protect the future of the industry by supporting apprentices through an intensive three year training programme that will ensure they can install mastic asphalt to the highest standards. The craft training programme is said to be one of the most demanding in the construction industry, and includes practical and theoretical training to use mastic asphalt across a wide range of applications.

Students can utilise state-of-the-art facilities at New City College Hackney which include a workshop replicating a real work site and a one-tonne asphalt mixer. Several MAC member companies have recently donated materials from which apprentices can learn the practical elements of this age-old trade.

Materials such as mastic asphalt, sheathing felt, primers, sand, cement and accessories have been provided free of charge by Shield Membranes, IKO, Alltype, Skyline Roofing Centres and Covered Roofing Supplies for use by the apprentices at the college during their course. Chris Maloney, Managing Director of Covered Roofing Supplies, kindly organised and arranged the whole delivery of materials.

MAC Director Malcolm Grinstead said: “This is a fantastic gesture by several of our member companies and many thanks to Chris Maloney for organising the delivery of materials.

“Not only are the MAC Board of Directors very appreciative of the donation of the materials, the apprentices themselves are too and Mastic Asphalt Lecturer Alf Tufano of New City College Hackney. It will help the apprentices develop their skills even further in the application of mastic asphalt.”

The spotlight was recently placed on New City College as it welcomed UK Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Alex Burghart MP along with education ministers and advisers from across the world as part of the Education World Forum 2022.

Minister for Skills Alex Burghart said: “Employers are crying out for highly skilled technical professionals, and it was a pleasure to see – first hand – how New City College are giving people of all ages the chance to upskill and retrain in key sectors such as construction and creative design.

“From boosting learners’ experience of the latest green building practices to delivering gold-standard T Levels, New City College is leading the way in supporting their students, and the economy.”

Skills Minister Visit Alf Tufano

The delegates from countries including Pakistan, South Africa, Mexico, Cuba and Brazil were keen to find out about vocational education in the UK, and accompanied Minister Burghart to the college’s Hackney campus where they met students, apprentices and staff.

The Minister was particularly interested in how the college trained apprentices in the art of mastic asphalting, one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable construction trades. Lecturer Alf Tufano welcomed Minister Burghart to the mastic asphalt workshop, and current mastic asphalt apprentices demonstrated their skills in the application of mastic asphalt.

New City College Principal Alison Arnaud commented:
“It was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to welcome Minister Burghart and so many  education ministers and advisers from across the world to our Hackney campus. The staff and students took great pride in sharing what we at New City College do best: giving our students and apprentices the skills and confidence they need to be good citizens and to excel in their chosen careers.’’.

This article featured within the July 2022 edition of RCi Magazine – click here to view the article.