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Two Leeds College of Building students have returned from an incredible experience after gaining places on an all-expenses-paid trip to northern Spain for three days.

The Roof Slating and Tiling apprentices travelled to the famous CUPA PIZARRAS quarries in Ponferrada to see first-hand where slate is excavated and manufactured for international distribution. The quarries are the largest tectonic natural slate reserves in the world.

Apprentices Andrew Addison and Sam Edwards were selected for their exceptional standard of work and commitment to their training over the last academic year.

The apprentices saw for themselves the production of slate on a massive scale at the world’s largest slate quarry and observed how stone is extracted from the ground, selected, and hand-split.

The pair visited the on-site showroom, toured the immense quarry site, watched demonstrations, and tried out some of the difficult techniques themselves.


Three males in high vis jackets and hardhats stand on slate quarry grounds
LCB CUPA PIZARRAS 2023 trip, Sam Edwards (Left), Dale Yates (Centre), and Andrew Addisin (Right)
Andrew Addison, apprentice, stands in hard hat and high vis jacket at a slate quarry
LCB CUPA PIZARRAS 2023 trip, Andrew Addison

This trip was an unbelievable opportunity for our apprentices to see the impressive infrastructure needed for production and distribution of natural slate from the world’s largest quarry. Thanks to CUPA for making us all feel extremely welcome. Everyone involved had a fantastic time. Learners and staff (including myself) took away valuable knowledge, along with an experience we will never forget.

It’s so rewarding to see apprentices benefit from inspiring experiences like this because of the College’s established partnerships. Many students never normally get opportunities like this, and they are truly life changing. It’s great to recognise and reward the hard work of roofing apprentices and show them what opportunities are available out there in a global industry.

Sam Edwards stands in high vis and work boots stands at the foot of quarry machinery
LCB CUPA PIZARRAS 2023 trip, Sam Ewards
View overlooking the quarry on hill side

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