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Thatcher Profile

 
Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Thatcher. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Thatcher
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Thatcher Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

This website features a volume of Job vacancies advertised on behalf of a number of different employers and specialist recruiters that post vacancies on a regular basis so you can start your search for work right here:-

Click here to View all the latest Thatcher jobs online today

 

We feature many Thatcher Jobs live online at this site and these posts are updated daily. Please book mark this page and return here on a regular basis or register with our site for Jobs by email so that you don't miss out on the latest work opportunities.

Working Duties Expected

Thatchers are skilled craftspeople who roof, re-roof or repair thatched properties. They have to conform to strict rules governing the materials and methods they use, in order to preserve the building in its original form.

The preparation of the roof and materials to be used is a vital stage. They may need to erect scaffolding or secure ladders to the building, and prepare the straw, wheat reed or water reed into bundles ready for use. The old roof is stripped and timbers are checked, repaired, treated or replaced where necessary before thatching begins.

Thatchers secure bundles of straw or reed to the roof battens using tarred cord or metal hooks fixed to the roof timbers. They work section by section, starting at the eaves and working up to the ridge. They secure the courses as they progress up the roof, and fix the ridge in position with hazel wood strips and hooks. They shape the ridge into patterns, which may sometimes be very ornate.

Thatchers use a range of cutting and fixing tools: shearing hooks, needles, eave-knives, various hooks, hammers and mallets. Some also grow and harvest their own thatch materials.

Hours and Environment

Working hours are dependent on available work, but may include early starts, late finishes and weekend work. Hours of work are longer in summer and shorter in the winter, although some thatchers work at night under floodlights.

Thatchers work outdoors in most weather conditions. Much of the work is off ladders or scaffolding. Old roofs can be very dusty, and reed seeds and spores from wheat straw can produce very difficult conditions.

Work may not be in the local area, so a driving licence is usually required.

Skills and Interests

As a thatcher you should:

  • be comfortable working at heights
  • be prepared to work outdoors in all weathers
  • have good organisational and practical skills
  • be numerate, for estimating materials, pricing jobs and maintaining accounts
  • have good communication and negotiating skills
  • be knowledgeable of building, safety and conservation regulations
  • be able to adapt your skills to work on complex thatched structures and solve problems
  • be physically fit.

You may need to be prepared to live in an area where thatching skills are in demand.

Entry

There are no specified academic entry requirements. It may be possible to find a thatcher who will take you on as a trainee.

You could train under The New Entrants Training Scheme. For details see below.

Training

Training is normally provided on the job with day or block release leading to NVQ/SVQ qualifications. You work towards NVQ in Thatching at levels 2 and 3.

The New Entrants Training Scheme takes place at Knuston Hall in Northamptonshire. The scheme is managed by Herefordshire College of Technology. Training is normally spread over two years combining block release with work placements. Successful completion of the course leads to NVQ levels 2 and 3 in Thatching.

Mandatory units include the planning and preparation of work areas together with assessment and suitability of thatching materials; health and safety issues are also covered. In addition, optional units can be taken in:

fixing standard and specialised thatching materials to roof structures
erecting and dismantling working platforms
harvesting coppiced timber for materials
selection and transporting of materials.
In Scotland, you work towards SVQ Thatching at Level 2.
Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).

Opportunities

Most thatchers are self-employed, working alone or with one partner, one trainee and/or one labourer.

Most thatched buildings are in specific areas of England and there are large areas with little or no thatch. Most work is in rural areas, especially in the West Country, East Anglia and the Midlands. Small numbers of thatchers work in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There may be some opportunities for qualified thatchers to work on contracts overseas.

There is fierce competition for all thatching work. The Countryside Agency advises those who live outside a main thatching region to have another form of income which can provide the flexibility to undertake thatching work as it arises.

Conservation regulations often do not allow owners to replace thatch with other materials, therefore the number of thatched properties is reasonably stable. The amount of business, however, is dictated by the owners' ability to afford the work.

Annual Income

The annual income section is intended as a guideline only. The actual rates of pay may vary.

Salaries start around £9,699. With experience, thatchers can earn around £12,300.
A self -employed thatcher would negotiate a rate for each job and may earn much more.

Further information

The Countryside Agency
John Dower House
Crescent Place
Cheltenham
Gloucestershire
GL50 3RA
Tel: 01242 521381
www.countryside.gov.uk

National Society of Master Thatchers
Vale House
Wharf Road
Ash Vale
Surrey
GU12 5AR
www.nsmt.co.uk

Thatching Information Service
Thatcher's Rest
Levens Green
Great Munden
Nr Ware
Hertfordshire
SG11 1HD
Tel: 01920 438710

Other Useful Thatcher Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Thatcher job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Thatcher Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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