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 – the UK’s largest manufacturer of flat and pitched roofing and waterproofing solutions – 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, explains: “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 2nd and 3rd – 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 in the BMI Apprentice of the Year awards are:
The 10 flat roofing finalists in the BMI Apprentice of the Year awards are:
A new faster, safer, stronger and lighter metal tile solution from BMI
Drawing on its extensive experience in lightweight metal tiles,BMI – is setting new standards with the introduction of AeroDek. A roofing solution built for the future, AeroDek is faster, safer, stronger and lighter than traditional roof coverings; while replicating the high aesthetic of clay, concrete or slate in a tile guaranteed to last for 40 years.
Band of Builders and BMI team up for community project
When building charity Band of Builders learnt of the challenges faced by plasterer Iain Dodd’s family, it was eager to do what it could to help. Band of Builders – “run by tradespeople, for tradespeople” – aims to help members of the construction industry community when times get tough: and tough describes the Dodd’s family situation.
Ford motors on
Nine months after winning the BMI Apprentice of the Year for pitched roofing, Roofing Today caught up with Matt Ford on a roof in Hertfordshire to chat about the competition, what he’s doing now and where he sees himself in the future.