Are you a Retrofit Installer or Tradesperson?

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Getting to an end goal isn’t always a straight line and the road to reach Net Zero targets isn’t any different.

And for the social housing construction industry, one way to get there is through retrofit!

If you’re new around here, let us give you a brief rundown on what retrofit is.

Retrofit is any refurbishment of an existing building that aims to reduce the carbon emissions and environmental impact of the building. This includes, but is not limited to, improving the energy efficiency of the heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and other mechanical systems, increasing the quality of insulation in the building envelope, implementing sustainable energy generation, and aiming to improve occupant comfort and health.

And as you can imagine, it takes a green army to manage and execute construction retrofit projects on social housing sector.

Luckily for you, we’ve created very specific pathways to help employees and subcontractors in the construction sector upskill themselves to execute retrofit activities within their job function.

Last week we honed in on the various types of routes to retrofit that exist in the construction industry, such as: ‘advisors’, ‘managers’, ‘doers’ AKA ‘Installers and Tradespeople”, and ‘role specific’.

This week, we will go in depth into the ”Installers and Tradespeople” of the construction industry, dive into specific jobs in this category, and even share current employers that are actively hiring these roles into their business. But first let’s recap the Routes to Retrofit.

There are 4 distinct routes to take when getting upskilled in retrofit for the construction industry:

  1. Advisors – Teams that support the construction industry: Office staff, Customer Service, Educators, Sales, and Marketing Teams etc.
  2. Managers – MDs, C-Suite Executives, Site Managers, PM’s, and QS’s etc.
  3. Installers and Tradespeople – Dry liners, Insulation Techs, Painters and Decorators, Bricklayers, Joiners, Plumbers, and Electricians etc.
  4. Role Specific – Retrofit Coordinator and Retrofit Assessor *Required Prerequisites*

Let’s now dive deeper into the roles that exist within the ‘installer or tradespeople’ route to retrofit.

An installer and tradesperson will be the person that’s has “boots on the ground” and actually executing the work to retrofit a home or building.

A great example of this type of job is as a Retrofit Installer. In this role you would be installing residential envelope air sealing, HVAC duct sealing, installations of windows and doors, mechanical ventilation, and roofing upgrades! All these physical processes can ultimately upcycle and better an existing building. Some other great examples of the kind roles and what they might entail can be found with our employer partner and Building Integrity contractor Isoler.

Let’s check out the range of different roles within retrofit that Isoler offers:

Trainee Joiner:

As a joiner, you will be responsible for designing, creating and installing structures, furniture and fittings using wood. The role of a joiner involves the following duties:

  • Learning the uses of different types of wood and choosing the right material for the job to then measure and cut accurately.
  • Installing materials and products as per specific manufacturer’s guidelines as well as installing adhesives and fillers.
  • Using multiple tools to install the products and materials, from hand tools to power tools.

Trainee Dry Liner:

As a dryliner you will be responsible for creating walls using plasterboard. The job role of a dryliner involves the following duties:

  • Measuring and cutting plasterboard to the right size, as well as metal or timber framework.
  • Installing framework ready for boarding, fixing plasterboard to metal and timber framework, sealing joints with tape and fill products and sanding joints ready for a paint finish.

Trainee Plasterer:

As a plasterer you will be responsible for helping to ensure a smooth and clean finish to buildings. This can involve mixing the plaster and applying to walls or ceilings, or drylining. The job role of a plasterer involves the following duties:

  • Checking and priming surface ready for plastering, as well as selecting the correct plastering materials and tools.
  • Protecting surfaces with coverings to help reduce mess before mixing the plastering material ready for application onto walls and ceilings.
  • Fixing and repairing previous work or damage as per instructions.

Trainee Painter and Decorator:

As a painter and decorator you will be responsible for a variety of different tasks – such as applying paints and stains to new rooms, furniture, or equipment, or you could be assisting with other projects. The job role of a painter and decorator varies, and can involve the following duties:

  • Prepare walls and ceilings so they are ready for painting, by completing tasks like scraping and sanding and filling holes and cracks.
  • Mixing paint to the right consistency and colour in order to paint various surfaces in line with the instructions from the client.
  • Using various tools to complete tasks, such as: rollers, brushers, scrapers, stanley knives.

Trainee Fire Stopper:

As a fire protection installer, you will be responsible for the installation and maintenance of fire protection systems. The role of a fire protection installer involves the following duties:

  • Installing structural protection to the framework of a building, such as intumescent spray and boarding systems, and fire seals, cavity barriers, mechanical closers and other fire resistant products.
  • Using different types of access equipment such as scaffolds, ladders and mewps.
  • Following technical details of how the products are installed through drawings and maps.

We are working directly with our employers to hit our regional target for 80,000 Retrofit workers – and with the help of Isoler, we’ve got everything you need to kick start your career within the Construction & Social Housing sector. To find out more information on these job roles check here. So, if you think one of these roles could be for you, our friendly team of Learner Engagement Officers are just one click or call away from providing the next steps required. So come on, tell us about how you’d like to join the green revolution by emailing us at or 0191 466 1024.

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