Twenty of the country’s best roofing apprentices are gearing up for the two-day final that will see two of them awarded the prestigious title of either pitched or flat roofing BMI Apprentice of the Year 2019.
Success in the competition identifies an apprentice as a stand-out individual and as someone with a bright future in the sector. Previous finalists have gone on to win multiple other awards, founded their own businesses or represented the industry and recruited new entrants as Construction Ambassadors with the CITB.
The finalists have been selected from building colleges throughout the UK. They come from all manner of backgrounds, proving the attraction of a skilled trade in construction, whether youngsters fresh from school or those seeking a second career – such as former members of the armed forces.
The competition is part of a strategy by BMI UK & Ireland to address the challenges faced by the building industry in meeting the ambitious government housing targets. The industry must recruit 700,000 more people to replace those retiring or moving on, plus an extra 120,000 if the government’s aim to build one million new homes by 2020 is to be achieved.
Mat Woodyatt, BMI technical training manager, explained: “Skills shortages are a pressing issue across construction as a whole; yet perhaps most keenly felt in roofing. These shortages hinder recruitment, and national building capacity – and if not properly addressed, in time the sector will struggle to deliver the roofs we need.”
“The competition is part of a group philosophy to recognise and reward those coming into the industry; as part of wider initiatives to raise the appeal of roofing and motivate more youngsters and career-changers to get involved.”
The final takes place over two days – July 2-3 – at the BMI Academy in South Cerney, Gloucestershire. Finalists will receive professional coaching on all aspects of running a roofing business – including business planning, presentation skills, and technical skills – before being assessed, making this a complete learning experience.
A selection of leading figures in the roofing industry will be judging the candidates. They will also take part in ‘knowledge-sharing sessions’ over the course of the two days to answer questions and share the benefits of their experience to help pass the baton on to this next generation of roofers.
The competition culminates with the Apprentice of the Year Awards Dinner – consisting of the 20 finalists, their tutors and employers, and judges – where the winners of the 2019 competition will be announced.
The 10 pitched roofing finalists are:
- Chantel Daniels, Stockport. Training with Bolton College and apprentice to Three Sixty (Stockport Homes Group)
- Nicholas Davey, North Tawton, Devon. Training with the South West Roofing Training Group (RoofTrain) and apprentice to RoofSmart
- Matthew Ford, Bradford. Training with Leeds College of Building and apprentice to Incommunities
- Liam Gee, Stockport. Training with Bolton College and apprentice to Three Sixty (Stockport Homes Group)
- Zack Harris, Plymouth. Training with South Devon College and apprentice to Stormforce Roofing
- Tyler Norris, Wittersham, Kent. Training with CITB Erith and apprentice to Karl Terry Roofing
- Tyler Pedrick, Braintree, Essex. Training with the Eastern Region Roof Training Group and apprentice to Avonside
- Tyreek Rose, Ipswich. Training with the Eastern Region Roof Training Group and apprentice to Scofield & Lait
- Daniel Steed, Ipswich Training with the Eastern Region Roof Training Group and apprentice to GHB Roofing
- Tom Stenhouse, Hereford. In training with the Wales National Roofing Training Group and apprentice to Rowlands Roofing.
The 10 flat roofing finalists are:
- Daniel Baker, Hereford. In training with the Wales National Roofing Training Group and apprentice to Central Roofing & Building Services
- Jorden Condren, Stanley, Co. Durham. Training with Newcastle College and apprentice to Hodgson Sayers
- Connor McKenzie, Stanley, Co. Durham. Training with Newcastle College and apprentice to Hodgson Sayers
- Lewis Miles, Ely. In training with the Eastern Region Roof Training Group and apprentice to the Cambridge Flat Roofing Company
- Oscar Miller, Grimsby. Training with Leeds College of Building and apprentice to The Roofing Corporation
- Evan Preston, Mawdsley. Training with Bolton College and apprentice to PB Roofing
- Connor Pringle, Ashton-under-Lyne. Training with Bolton College and apprentice to Manchester Building Company
- Toby Shea, Hitchen, Herts. Training with Newcastle College and apprentice to Riteshield Roofing
- Mark Thompson, Newcastle. Training with Newcastle College and apprentice to Mitie
- Lewis White, Newcastle. Training with Newcastle College and apprentice to Mitie.