BMI Apprentice of the Year competition celebrates excellence in roofing

Following two days of competition to find the most promising apprentices in pitched and flat roofing, the winners of the BMI Apprentice of the Year 2023 competition have been announced.
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Taking home the title of BMI Redland Apprentice of the Year in the Pitched Roofing category was Euan Forsyth, an apprentice at Mithril Roofing and training at Fife College. Charlie Plant, an apprentice at Sussex Asphalte Ltd and training at Simian, claimed the BMI Icopal Apprentice of the Year award in the Flat Roofing category.

Reflecting the incredibly high standard across the competition, judges recognised two other apprentices as Highly Commended in their categories. Flat roofing apprentice, Joseph Potts of Complete Roofing Systems, and Pitched roofing apprentice, Christopher Burns of JLC Roofing, each took home the Highly Commended award.

This year’s competition had the theme of ‘Skills for Life’, demonstrating the importance of apprenticeships in equipping young people with the opportunity to learn practical skills which enhance their careers. Over the two-day competition, 20 finalists showcased their abilities across a range of disciplines, from hands-on skills and teamwork through to marketing and business acumen.

“The standard in this year’s final was absolutely phenomenal and everybody on the judging panel was blown away by the dedication and enthusiasm the apprentices showed for their profession,” said Simon Dixon, Technical Training Manager of the BMI Academy. “All of the finalists took great pride in their work and were ready to take on every challenge that was put to them. It was great to see each of them grow and develop so much over just two days, which shows just how bright their futures are in our industry.

“Of course, two apprentices stood out, and they were Euan and Charlie. They should both be very proud of what they have achieved – and we can’t wait to see where their careers take them.”

As well as claiming the prestigious title of BMI Apprentice of the Year, the winners received a £1,000 cash prize and three years’ worth of training support from the BMI Academy.

Charlie Plant, BMI Icopal Apprentice of the Year in Flat Roofing, said: “It’s a great feeling to have won and be able to say that I’m Apprentice of the Year, especially when there were so many great apprentices taking part this year. It has been a great opportunity and I couldn’t recommend it more highly to other apprentices thinking of taking part in the future.”

Euan Forsyth, the Pitched Roofing BMI Apprentice of the Year, said: “To have won is a big surprise and it’s an amazing feeling. The competition has really pushed us all and I feel like I’ve progressed so much just in the last couple of days, so I’m really happy to have been recognised and be taking home the top prize.”

The winners of the BMI Apprentice of the Year competition 2023 were chosen by a panel of expert judges, each bringing with them a wealth of industry knowledge and experience. 

Judging the Flat Roofing category were: Claire Griffiths, editor of Roofing Today magazine; Hayley Reynolds, Director at Itech Roofworks; Jamie Gibbs of Retain Limited; and Kyle Hargreaves of Graham + Sibbald. 

Overseeing the Pitched Roofing category were: Robert Coutts, a World Skills Mentor; Kay Triana Rose, CEO of the Institute of Roofing; Matthew Downs, Editor of Total Contractor magazine; and Matt Timby of Timby Traditional Roofing.

As the roofing industry faces a major skills shortage, the annual BMI Apprentice of the Year competition plays a crucial role in encouraging young people into the sector and supporting them to develop the skills to succeed. Through the BMI Academy, which hosts the annual competition, provides best-in-class training and supports colleges and training centres, BMI is investing in the future of roofing. 

For this year’s competition, 20 finalists were selected to take part in the two-day event hosted at the BMI Academy in Gloucestershire. They include:

Pitched Roofing category finalists:

  • Andrew Addison, Historic England, Leeds College

  • Stevie Armstrong-Brown, Brosnan Roofing, Newcastle College

  • Christopher Burns, JLC Roofing, Simian

  • Kyle Burns, DMG Services, South Lanarkshire College

  • Marc Cutler, DMG Services, South Lanarkshire College

  • Euan Forsyth, Mithril Roofing, Fife College

  • Hayden Gordon, Fife Council Building Services, Fife College

  • Lewis Round, Stormforce Roofing, South Devon College

  • Brogan Rourke, A Rourke Roofing, Dundee & Angus College

  • Morgan Wood, Purple Roofing, Leeds College

Flat Roofing category finalists:

  • Jack Bailey, Absolute Roofing Solutions, Juniper Training

  • Christopher Fenwick, M&C Roofing Contractors, Optimum Skills

  • Lewis Hubbe, Complete Roofing Systems, Simian

  • Billy McDougall, S G & Sons Roofing, CITB Inchinnan

  • James McGhee, M&C Roofing Contractors, Optimum Skills

  • Ben Oliver, Taylor Roofing, CITB Inchinnan

  • Charlie Plant, Sussex Asphalte, Simian

  • Joseph Potts, Complete Roofing Systems, Simian

  • Joseph Pullen, D Richards Roofing & Home Improvements, Juniper Training

  • Declan Westwood, D Richard Roofing & Home Improvements, Juniper Training

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