How to get in touch

Call us on 03705 601000
Email us at
or Click Here

Home / News / 2019 / Leeds Duo Take The Honours At BMI Apprentice Of The Year

Leeds duo take the honours at BMI Apprentice of the Year

Matthew Ford and Oscar Miller have been crowned the pitched and flat roofing BMI Apprentices of the Year as the competition ended in two days of intense scrutiny from a panel of industry-leading figures.

At a special gala dinner attended by all the contestants, tutors and employers, the victors received a £1,000 cash prize for each of them to invest in their future, a trophy for the mantelpiece plus a goody bag of high-quality roofing tools and materials.

Speaking just after the prize giving, pitched Apprentice of the Year, Matthew Ford, who attends Leeds College of Building and works for housing association, Incommunities, said: “To win is amazing. I really thought winning was beyond me but I put in the good work and tried my hardest. Events like this, which promote roofing, make it a real trade and I’m so pleased to win.”

The flat roofing Apprentice of the Year, Oscar Miller, who is also a student at Leeds College of Building and employed by Grimsby-based The Roofing Corporation, admitted to being a bit stunned: “I had to take a second because I thought I was being highly commended then realised I’d won. Disbelief but really, really happy to win such a big thing as the BMI Apprentice of the Year.”

So tightly fought was the competition that the judges felt that each category deserved a highly commended award. On the pitched side Tyler Pedrick, who works for Avonside and studies at Eastern Region Roof Training Group, received the accolade while for the flat category it was Connor Pringle, who is enrolled at Bolton College and works for the Manchester Building Company.

Unlike other competitions which are largely hands-on, skills-based events, the BMI Apprentice of the Year tests ‘soft’ skills as well as technical knowledge. As such the finalists compete over two days participating in a series of presentations and assignments. These examine every facet of running their own roofing business – including business planning, presentation skills, and technical skills. The consensus among the contestants was that the competition had improved their self-confidence despite being tough and that they had enjoyed building a rapport with the judges, all of whom are industry experts

As judge Gary Walpole, Health and Safety Officer at the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), noted: “The contestants are taken out of their comfort zone by being forced to tackle ‘soft’ skills rather than the physical side of their trade. What impressed me so much is how they all grew in confidence, really focused on the job in hand and achieved things they probably thought were beyond them prior to the competition.”

Reflecting on Oscar Miller’s win, judge Dr Ronan Brunton, Technical Manager, Single Ply Roofing Association (SPRA), said: “Oscar has the potential and opportunity to drive our industry forward. Over the competition event he demonstrated all the qualities required to be the Apprentice of the Year.”

Steve Revell, President of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NRFC), was similarly impressed with pitched winner Matthew Ford: “.The judges thought highly of all the candidates and the standard shown, but Matthew clinched it, thanks to his work on the defects challenge where he was well organised in his presentation, identified all six and more of the defects, then spoke well about the rectification works that were required.”

Mat Woodyatt, BMI Technical Training Manager, commented: “This has been a fantastic event, the second time we have held a competition to find the best in each of the two roofing disciplines: pitched and flat roofing. All the contestants deserve huge credit for their hard work and achievements. I know the judges looked long and hard at the scoring, deliberated at length about what marks to award and genuinely found it difficult to separate participants. However, in the end there can only be two winners, so heartfelt congratulations to Matthew and Oscar. Well done lads!”


Redland Mini Stonewold is the perfect solution against high winds in Orkney

With prevalent high winds in excess of 130mph on the Orkney Islands, a solution was required that could withstand these elements when it came to roofing a new facility for elderly and vulnerable members of the community. The BMI Redland Mini Stonewold Slate was chosen due to its strength, robustness and appearance of natural slate.

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.

Search the Redland website

Start typing below (4 character minimum