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Leadworker of the Year 2019 - finalists announced Print E-mail

Finalists Shane White of SW Leadworks and Ashley Saxton of Saxton Specialist Leadwork will be vying for the prestigious Leadworker of the Year 2019 title at this year’s Award Ceremony. The competition, now in its eighth year, is sponsored by the Lead Sheet Training Academy, which specialises in training those using lead or hard metals in the construction industry. It was open to both self-employed leadworkers and those working for contractors.

Competitors were required to send in a portfolio showcasing their work before seven talented finalists were invited to attend a two-day practical assessment at the LSTA’s Training Centre in East Peckham, Kent. The competitors were required to complete a series of tasks over identical model roof sections, all under the watchful eye of a panel of expert judges.

Commenting on the standard of the competition this year, the LSTA’s General Manager Nick DuGard said: “We were delighted to stage the LSTA Leadworker of the Year competition this year and the response from entrants was fantastic. The skills test over the two days was exacting but the standard of work was extremely high. The first test included bossing an outlet and on the second day the competition ramped up with a test to deliver a piece of work with double-break corners.”

The judges’ task was challenging but Ashley and Shane’s work stood out. Ashley, 26, was “over the moon” to receive a letter informing him that he had been shortlisted for the award.

Having worked in the sector for around seven years, he has always valued opportunities to expand his skillset. He originally started a Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Roofing Occupations back in 2013 and, having achieved that, is currently studying for a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in  Heritage Skills at the LSTA; skills that he believes will set him up for life. Now applying his specialist leadworking skills on sites across London and Kent, he hopes to continue learning and working in the sector for the foreseeable future before potentially training others.

Shane, 30, is based in Somerset. Having studied carpentry at college, he soon made the switch to leadwork, initially working with family. With his grandfather being a blacksmith and his uncle having worked with lead, metalwork is something that he feels “almost runs in my blood”. He hasn’t looked back since: he now runs his own business and has a true passion for lead roofing, saying that he loves his work.

Shane hopes to continue to hone and expand his skills in the future, having found the competition and recent short training courses at the LSTA’s Centre a fantastic experience. “It was absolutely brilliant to get up there and learn other ways of doing things, especially when you've been taught by one person. It's fantastic to be taught by people who teach lots of people - they just show you a different approach. Some of the tips I picked up have made things a lot easier for me.”

The winner will be announced at the Roofing Awards on May 10th. As well as gaining industry recognition, the victor will be awarded a number of career-boosting prizes, including a free week of training at the LSTA, a new set of tools and a copy of the Rolled Lead Sheet Manual. The runner up will receive a copy of the manual and a three-day personalised development training course with the LSTA’s experienced tutors.

For further information visit

This project in Utrecht, Holland by Ashley Saxton of Saxton Specialist Leadwork features Code 6 lead to a heritage post office in the town centre. To see more exampes of Ashley's work click here or email


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