BMI Apprentice of the Year competition returns for 6th year

Every year, we celebrate the rising stars in roofing with our Apprentice of the Year competition, inviting new pitched and flat apprentice roofers to test their skills. Here’s how they did…
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Supporting the training and skills development of roofing apprentices

Two days, four challenges and 20 of the UK’s most promising roofing apprentices. That was the set-up for the highly anticipated 2023 Apprentice of the Year competition.

Taking place at the BMI Academy – which is dedicated to equipping roofing professionals with essential skills and knowledge through best-in-class training – the competition is designed to support the growth of every finalist. With four stages of competition across the two days, every apprentice showcased their skills across a range of disciplines – from practical skills and teamwork through to communication and business acumen.

Simon Dixon, Technical Training Manager of the BMI Academy, said: “It’s fantastic to see the personal growth and development of every apprentice over the course of just two days. You see them come in on day one, heads down and hoods up, and by the end of day two they’re presenting to a panel of judges with such confidence, it shows how much they’ve progressed.”

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. To inspire this year’s finalists, the the business skills challenge was opened by Matthew Ford, the 2019 champion who has since gone on to found The Purple Roofing Company, who told them he used this competition as a platform and explained how it helped to give him a clear idea of what he wanted to do with his career.

During the competition, the apprentices showcased their skills through the Demonstration Challenge, before going on to undertake the Defect Challenge and making a final presentation to the expert panel of industry judges.

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Meet the finalists

Meet the finalists

With 20 apprentices making it through to this year’s final, the competition was stronger than ever before. With two categories – pitched roofing and flat roofing – each apprentice could showcase their skills and passion within their chosen field.

You can find the full list of the finalists here.

BMI Apprentice ofTheYear2023 -462 Web

Meet the judges

Meet the judges

Representing all aspects of the roofing industry, our judges observed activity across the two days. However, their role wasn’t only to judge the competition and help find this year’s winners, but also to support the competition’s aim of helping every finalist to grow in confidence and capability by sharing their 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 Rose, CEO of the Institute of Roofing; Matthew Downs, Editor of Total Contractor magazine; and Matt Timby of Timby Traditional Roofing.

 Meet the judges

Celebrating the next generation and the winners in pitched and flat roofing

The Apprentice of the Year competition is an incredible opportunity for every finalist. Just getting to this stage and being invited to the BMI Academy as a finalist is a true reflection of their potential. Plus, with experts from across the roofing sector present for the two-day event, it’s also an opportunity to network with some of the most influential people in the industry, learn from experts and meet other apprentices at a similar point in their careers.

After two days of competition, participants, judges, employers and tutors all gathered for a celebratory awards reception where this year’s winners were announced. This year’s winners of the BMI Apprentice of the Year competition are Euan Forsyth, an apprentice at Mithril Roofing and training at Fife College, and Charlie Plant, an apprentice at Sussex Asphalte Ltd who trains at Simian.

Euan Forsyth, the Pitched Roofing BMI Apprentice of the Year 2023

Euan Forsyth, the Pitched Roofing BMI Apprentice of the Year 2023

“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.” said Euan.

Euan Forsyth - Pitched Roofing BMI Apprentice of the Year 2023

Charlie Plant, BMI Icopal Apprentice of the Year in Flat Roofing 2023

Charlie Plant, BMI Icopal Apprentice of the Year in Flat Roofing 2023

“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.” said Charlie

Charlie Plant, BMI Icopal Apprentice of the Year in Flat Roofing 2023

Investing in the future of roofing

As the roofing industry faces a major skills shortage, with firms reporting recruitment problems across a variety of roles, the annual BMI Apprentice of the Year competition celebrates and inspires apprentices, giving them the recognition they deserve and promoting a career in roofing as something to aspire to.

By supporting apprentices, alongside colleges, training providers and employers through personalised support for their apprenticeship programmes, BMI is playing a major role in addressing the skills shortage through the dedicated BMI Academy. As well as teaching the technical aspects of roofing, the competition coaches the softer skills which are integral to building a successful career in the industry.

To find out more about how BMI can support your training and development, or to learn more about the Apprentice of the Year competition, please click here

With this year’s competition having attracted a record number of entries from roofing apprentices, we are already excitedly planning the BMI Apprentice of the Year 2024 competition. Please contact us to register your interest, and find out more.