Meet the winners of the BMI Apprentice of the Year 2022

BMI UK & Ireland are proud to announce the winners of the BMI Apprentice of the Year competition as Steel Sweatland of RSM Roofing and Malachi Wilkes of Rio Asphalt & Paving Company. After a challenging and exciting two-day competition, Steel and Malachi were crowned winners of the 2022 BMI Apprentice of the Year.
Apprentice of the year winners 2022

Our BMI Apprentice of the Year competition took place in July and we are proud to announce the winners as Steel Sweatland of RSM Roofing and Malachi Wilkes of Rio Asphalt & Paving Company.

Steel, who trains at South West Roofing Training Group, was the winner of the Pitched Roofing category, while Juniper Training student Malachi won the Flat Roofing category.

“The competition was fierce, everyone deserved to win it! I really enjoyed the defect challenge, with the judges acting like real world customers. Winning Apprentice of the Year has given me the confidence I need to go far in my roofing career” said Steel.

“It’s fantastic to be a winner, it feels like I can inspire others in the business including those I work with at Rio and train with at Juniper Training. To win this competition is a great opportunity and it’s the best thing I’ve done in my career so far. I’ve learnt so much from everyone here, and I’ve now got connections with the judges and the other finalists,” said Malachi.

Each winner receives a prize of £1000, a bespoke trophy 3D printed at the BMI Technical Centre, as well as three years’ worth of training support from the BMI Academy.

The competition was extremely tight this year, leading the judges to recognise two other finalists as Highly Commended in their categories. Reilly Stow from Simian Risk in partnership with Langley was awarded Highly Commended in the flat roofing category and Joe Jamieson who trains at Edinburgh College was awarded Highly Commended in the pitched roofing category.

Andy King, judge and Managing Director of A.L. King Roofing Ltd, said “The standards this year were outstanding, it really was a tough challenge! I thought the presentation skills were fantastic, all the apprentices came across as confident and accepted any challenges we threw at them. It was a tough call choosing just one winner and one highly commended for each category, so well done to both Reilly and Joe, it was well deserved”.

This year’s BMI Apprentice of the Year was as competitive as ever, with all pitched and flat roofing finalists demonstrating consistency and best-practice in every area of roofing. This year’s competition theme was “empower” so the apprentices had to demonstrate how they empower themselves and others by playing an active role in the roofing community and beyond. 

Throughout the event the finalists were coached on a range of topics including presentation  and leadership challenges and then assessed on this, to showcase all the skills they need to succeed in their future careers. 

Matheau Woodyatt, Technical Training Manager at the BMI Academy said “This year’s competition was as tough as ever, with the apprentices showcasing their skills across both the flat and pitched categories”

“The apprentices really embodied the theme of Empower this year, and we look forward to seeing the success and influence of the winners and finalists over the years to come”. 

Former winner, Matthew Ford, who also presented at this year’s competition added “Winning Apprentice of the Year meant a lot to me, and I can really see the same enthusiasm in this year's crop of finalists. It was a pleasure to be able to come back this year and share some of the knowledge I’ve gained since the competition”. 

The finalists, their tutors, employers, judges, and industry stakeholders all came together, not only to celebrate Malachi and Steel, but the roofing industry as a whole. The 2022 winners were announced by BMI’s Marketing and Technical Director Paul Campbell and Sales Director Fraser Biles.

Speaking at the awards dinner, Paul said “We know a skilled workforce is crucial to the success in our industry, and everyone in this room helped show how rewarding and diverse a career in roofing can be”

“Our thanks to the apprentices, their employers, tutors and colleges for the energy, enthusiasm and expertise they brought to the competition this year”. 

Kay Rose added “As judges, we’ve enjoyed meeting the finalists. But you’ve really made our jobs difficult this year because you all impressed us in so many ways. You have really done yourselves proud over the last two days and you really are a credit to your tutors, employers and families ”. 

Closing out the ceremony Fraser said “We have had such a fantastic group of individuals this year, the standard of which is incredible. You’ve achieved so much already and have a fantastic future ahead of you”. 

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