Winners of BMI Apprentice of the Year announced

Paul Campbell (L) and Malachi Wilkes (R)

BMI UK & Ireland has announced Steel Sweatland of RSM Roofing and Malachi Wilkes of Rio Asphalt & Paving Company as the winners of the BMI Apprentice of the Year competition.

Steel, who trains at RoofTrain UK, was the winner of the pitched roofing category, while Malachi, Juniper training student, won the flat roofing category. Each winner receives a prize of £1,000, a bespoke trophy 3D printed at the BMI Technical Centre, as well as three years’ worth of training support from the BMI Academy.

Throughout the event the finalists were coached on a range of topics including presentation and leadership challenges and then assessed on this, to showcase all the skills they need to succeed in their future careers.

Judges of the competition also recognised two other finalists as Highly Commended in their categories. Reilly Stow, from Simian Risk in partnership with Langley, was awarded Highly Commended in the flat roofing category and Joe Jamieson, who trains at Edinburgh College, was awarded Highly Commended in the pitched roofing category.

The 2022 winners were announced by BMI’s marketing and technical director Paul Campbell and sales director Fraser Biles.

Speaking at the awards dinner, Paul commented: “We know a skilled workforce is crucial to the success in our industry and everyone in this room helped show how rewarding and diverse a career in roofing can be.

“Our thanks to the apprentices, their employers, tutors and colleges for the energy, enthusiasm and expertise they brought to the competition this year.”

Commenting on his success, Steel said: “The competition was fierce, everyone deserved to win it! I really enjoyed the defect challenge, with the judges acting like real world customers. Winning Apprentice of the Year has given me the confidence I need to go far in my roofing career.”

Malachi added: “It’s fantastic to be a winner, it feels like I can inspire others in the business including those I work with at Rio and train with at Juniper Training. To win this competition is a great opportunity and it’s the best thing I’ve done in my career so far. I’ve learnt so much from everyone here, and I’ve now got connections with the judges and the other finalists.”

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