College Roofing Apprentices Pick Up Top Industry Gongs

Posted on 25 July 2019

Two Leeds College of Building Apprentices have been recognised as best in their field after winning the prestigious annual BMI Apprentice of the Year competition.

Matthew Ford, an Apprentice at housing association ‘Incommunities’, won the pitched roofing top gong. Fellow College student, Oscar Miller - an Apprentice at Grimsby-based ‘The Roofing Corporation’ - won in the flat roofing category.

The pair were selected after completing a gruelling two-day competition. Unlike other competitions, the BMI Apprentice of the Year tests ‘soft’ skills as well as technical knowledge. Competitors were tasked with creating a roofing business idea and presenting it to a panel of judges.

The BMI Apprentice of the Year competition has fast become a popular and prestigious roofing calendar fixture, attracting almost one hundred applicants this year from the UK’s most gifted roofing apprentices.

Finalists also talked judges through a flat or pitched roof rig, spotted defects and explained how they should be remedied, were marked on a health & safety written assessment, and gave individual presentations about career experiences, goals and ambitions.

Winning the pitched roofing trophy and a £1,000 cash-prize, Matthew Ford said:
“Winning this competition has made me see that I’m good enough. It’s given me more confidence, it’s a big achievement just to get here, and I just can’t believe I’ve won. I’m really thrilled!

Oscar Miller said:
“The BMI Apprentice of the Year is a character-building experience; it’s like nothing I’ve done before. I’m so proud to have been selected as a finalist, but to win is like a dream come true!”

The BMI Apprentice of the Year competition has fast become a popular and prestigious roofing calendar fixture, attracting almost one hundred applicants this year from the UK’s most gifted roofing apprentices.

Paul Campbell, BMI UK & Ireland Marketing & Technical Director, commented:
“The skills shortage is the biggest risk facing the roofing industry. BMI’s Apprentice of the Year shines a light on the industry’s brightest and best young roofers, encouraging the next generation and showing the range of possibilities that exist in a career in roofing.

“We enjoy staging the Apprentice of the Year competition as part of our role in the industry, bringing us closer to the roof training colleges and groups and developing our support in bringing on the next generation of roofing talent.”

The Competition culminated with a Gala Dinner and Awards at the DeVere Cotswolds Water Park Hotel, where the apprentices enjoyed a two-day stay courtesy of BMI UK and Ireland.