30 May 2024

Q&A with All Mastic's Warren Hill

For the last two years, Geocel has been proud to sponsor All Mastic, a leading mastic sealant application company providing unique training and assessment services to the sealant industry in the UK. Here, we interview Warren Hill to find out more about the company and the training courses available.

Can you tell us about All Mastic and the history of the company?

All Mastic began life back in 1992, purely as a sealant application company. The then Managing Director Philip Bell had a dual role of running both All Mastic and acting as Chairman of the Association of Sealant Applicators (ASA). In 1998, the CITB approached the ASA to help formulate a new NVQ qualification in joint sealant application. This led to All Mastic becoming the NVQ training provider on behalf of the ASA, running all courses through their headquarters in Portishead near Bristol. Moving onto the year 2000, the CITB approached the ASA again to set up an apprenticeship scheme which went onto become the CITB SAP Apprenticeship, a scheme designed for bespoke trades within the construction industry. All Mastic were there to provide all the training for these young trainees. Due to the decline in ASA membership, we at All Mastic now work with the CITB directly as the UK’s only training provider for the apprenticeship scheme.

Personally, I joined All Mastic in 1994 as a trainee and was actually the first NVQ apprentice in the UK – the guinea pig! I stayed with the company for 12 years before leaving to start my own business, which All Mastic later bought. I then returned as a Contracts Manager, later Director and now part owner of the business.


Why did you choose to set up a training academy?

 The main reason is because sealant application had always been looked at as a labourer’s job and there was a big drive to establish it as a standalone trade within the construction industry. We set up the academy to get away from the idea that any old Tom, Dick or Harry could do sealant work, feeling strongly that operatives needed to be properly trained to achieve a high quality finish when applying sealant.

We often get people that interview for jobs on the application side of our business who’ll say “I know how to do sealant work”, but as soon as they start with us it’s pretty clear that they don’t. Anyone can squirt sealant around a window, but what you are looking for is the perfect finish. The key is to be fast and neat, if you can do that you are worth your weight in gold as a sealant applicator and you will make a lot of money in the industry.

What courses do you offer at All Mastic?

 We offer three courses: a one-day training course for novices which Geocel sponsors, an NVQ level 2 in joint sealant application and an 18-month SAP apprenticeship scheme. The SAP apprenticeship includes an IPAF course, PASMA course, Abrasive Wheel course and first aid course as well as a joint sealant application NVQ level 2 qualification.

It’s my dad who does the training – it’s a real family affair – he is retired now but started work as a sealant applicator back in 1966 - 15 years before silicones came on the scene! We train a maximum of three people on a course as it makes it more personal and allows us to spend more time with each trainee.

What skill levels are your courses targeted at?

 Our courses are targeted at all different skill levels. We recently provided a course for a group of abseilers looking for specific training in glass to glass sealing work. We also offer top-up courses for people who want a refresher course. Anyone who works within the trade can benefit from these, our training isn’t just for novices.

What products and tools do you use on the courses and why?

We use Geocel HM and DOWSIL™ C60. For me, Geocel HM – which we used long before the Geocel sponsorship – is the Rolls Royce of sealants and is the best high mod you can buy for application, so we don’t use any other HM. When we do a training course, this is relayed to people because a lot of the time, the mistakes they’re making are due to buying a poor-quality sealant. Everybody knows that if you buy the cheap sealant, it makes it three times as hard to apply and doesn’t look as good. On the apprenticeship course, where we’re covering a number of different types of sealant work, we also use polyurethanes with an air gun and an anti-pick sealant.

How can people get in touch if they are interested in a course or apprenticeship?

 I would recommend people check out our social channels – Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn - for a taster of what our courses are about, and then head to our website where there is a form that they can fill in to make an enquiry.