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Roofing’s young bloods selected for national apprentice final

The country’s roofing apprentices are gearing up for the two-day final that will reward the best in pitched and flat roofing

BMI, the UK’s largest manufacturer and supplier of flat and pitch roofing systems is offering the two awards backed by its brands. The Redland Apprentice of the Year will recognise the best pitched roofing apprentice, while the flat roof apprentices will compete for the Icopal Apprentice of the Year.

The shortlist was selected from building colleges throughout England and Wales, from Erith to Bolton and from Newcastle to south Devon. And they are not all straight from school, with some seeking a second career like Ceiran Peel-Price, 29, of Irby on the Wirral in Merseyside. His first job after school was in the army but a discharge on medical grounds led him to a second career in roofing. His boss, Les Perry, of Les Roofing Contractors, encouraged him to start an apprenticeship.

The winners not only gain the title – Redland Apprentice of the Year 2018 or Icopal Apprentice of the Year 2018 – but also a £1,000 cash prize for each of them to invest in their future and plus a goody bag of high-quality roofing tools and materials. They will also receive support from the two industry brand leaders at the group’s National Training Centre as well as a handsome trophy for the mantelpiece.

The finalists compete over two days at the BMI National Training Centre in Gloucestershire where they will receive professional coaching that examines every facet of running their own roofing business – including business planning, presentation skills, and technical skills. Once they have been through this complete learning experience they are then assessed by a selection of figures in the roofing industry.

The judges will also participate in ‘knowledge-sharing sessions’ over the course of the two days to answer questions and share the benefits of their experience to this next generation of roofers.

Mat Woodyatt, BMI technical training manager, said: “These awards are part of a wider group strategy to recognise and reward those coming into the industry. We want to raise the appeal of roofing and motivate more youngsters and career-changers to get involved.”

The two-day final will culminate in the Apprentice of the Year Awards Dinner – consisting of the finalists, their tutors and employers, and judges – where the winners of the 2018 competition will be announced.

Finalists Pitched:

  • Jay Webster – Leeds College of Building
  • Lewis Potts – Wales National Roof Training Group
  • Richard Wilson and Joe Cook – CITB South (Erith)
  • Cieran Peel-Price – Bolton College
  • Luke Campbell and Phillip McBride – Eastern Region RTG
  • Tom Thompson – South West RTG
  • Jorden Condren – Newcastle College

Finalists Flat:

  • Greg Thomas – South Devon College
  • Nathan Dawson, Joe Burgess, Bradley Garner – Eastern Region RTG
  • Kieran Forster, Joe Gladstone, Ross Adams, Oliver Drew, Mark Thompson – Newcastle College