BMI UK & Ireland – the UK’s largest manufacturer of flat and pitched roofing and waterproofing solutions – is announcing the launch of its BMI Apprentice of the Year 2020 competition in National Apprenticeship Week (3rd – 7th February), the annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships across England.
BMI actively supports colleges throughout the UK with their work training roofing apprentices and its competition, now in its fourth year, has become a fixture in the roofing calendar and is one of the prominent apprenticeship events in the sector.
The contest seeks to find the UK’s most promising apprentices and reward them for their commitment, ability and potential. Previous winners and participants have gone on to start their own businesses, find more senior roles within the companies that employ them, represent industry trade bodies and even become tutors themselves.
Cieran Peel-Price, who was a finalist in 2017 and 2018, is a firm advocate of apprenticeships in general and the competition in particular. “It taught me a lot and was one of the things that encouraged me to broaden my own skills base. It also taught me the value of quality training. The facilities at the BMI Academy are excellent, and I’ve recently undertaken some of their flat roofing courses to give me more business opportunities.”
The competition opens on 2nd March 2020 and welcomes all those recognised as an apprentice by their employer, or those working towards qualified status.
Two prestigious titles are at stake - either the pitched or flat roofing BMI Apprentice of the Year 2020. The awards naturally come with a trophy and prize package, not to mention ongoing support from the team at the BMI Academy.
This year’s theme is ‘influence’ and BMI is looking for contestants who have what it takes to influence peers and those in the wider roofing community.
Entry is via a written submission or video which can be submitted online. Entrants will then be selected for the final, which takes place during July at the BMI Academy in Gloucestershire. Finalists will receive professional coaching on a range of topics including presentation skills, health and safety and making technical assessments.
A selection of leading figures in the roofing industry will be judging the candidates. They will also take part in ‘knowledge-sharing sessions’ over the course of the two days to answer questions and share the benefits of their experience.
Last year’s winner of the pitched category, Matthew Ford, reflected: “It boosted my confidence no end. The competition went into areas that just aren’t covered in college and it was never just about simply putting on a roof. We learnt other skills about presentation, relating to the clients, and looking at business plans.”
Oscar Miller, who picked up the flat roofing award, was similarly enthused: ““I entered the competition because it would give me extra experience and knowledge that I wouldn’t get if I didn’t go. I thought if I won it would be a massive achievement – there’s only two winners each year – and the fact that I did was another box ticked,” he says, “It was fantastic.”
Mat Woodyatt, BMI Technical Training Manager, explains: “National Apprenticeship Week is a time to recognise and applaud apprenticeship success stories across the country. Our commitment to help train apprentices is unwavering and BMI Apprentice of the Year is part of our commitment to recognise and reward those working hard to achieve their goals. It has given us many success stories in the last few years and we are looking forward to welcoming the finalists to the BMI Academy in July.”