James' work at Sellafield helps him make a positive difference to the UK.
Rob is supporting the next generation of apprentices at Burlington Stone
Rob Cooper, Roofing Manager at Burlington Stone, lives in Askam
After beginning his career as an apprentice at Burlington Stone, Rob has used his own experience to make the scheme more exciting for current apprentices.
Rob took on an apprenticeship in 1989 after leaving school and has developed his career to Roofing Manager at Burlington Stone at Kirkby-in-Furness.
“My family has history at Burlington Stone, as my dad, grandad and great-grandad have all worked here so I had an interest in the business,” he said. “I served my apprenticeship as a river, making blocks of stone into slate thicknesses, for three years and then I later got a role as a charge hand.
“In 2001, I was fortunate enough to be promoted to Roofing Manager and I’ve been doing it ever since.
“I’ve used my own experience of being an apprentice to make the experience more exciting for our current apprentices.
“Their training now covers the whole roofing process, from grading the material and using overhead cranes to move the stone to using steel saws with diamond tips to cut the stone, docking it, riving the slate, dressing it and then packing it.”
Burlington Stone is part of The Holker Group and Rob praises the Cavendish family, who own the business, as “really down-to-earth people”.
“Burlington Stone is a great business to work for and it’s always good to work for good people,” he said.
“We’re a close-knit family and it’s a very friendly environment on site.
“Stone from Burlington is known to be one of the best in the world so we attract high-end clients who want the best.
“It’s a very interesting job with lots of opportunities to work in other areas of the business – and we have the luxury of looking out at a stunning view every day.”
Rob is originally from Kirkby, a stone’s throw from Burlington’s quarry.
“I grew up in Kirkby and met my wife in the village,” he said. “We now live in Askam and I’ve always been happy in Cumbria.
“I like my job and the fact it’s on my doorstep. Living and working in Cumbria is great and has so many benefits.”
Rob is involved in rugby in the region and has always loved the outdoor lifestyle.
“I played rugby for a lot of years at Askam, and I’m involved with coaching children as well,” he said. “In my spare time, I also enjoy gardening work and being outside. I’ve got a farming background in the family so I have an interest in that.
“I also spend time walking, so Cumbria is the perfect place for all my hobbies and my career.”
Find out more about Burlington Stone, part of The Holker Group.