Ten of the country’s best roofing apprentices are gearing up for the two-day final that will see one of them awarded the title of Redland Apprentice of the Year.
The elite cadre will compete for a £1,000 cash prize to invest in the future, the title of Redland Apprentice of the Year 2017; together with a trophy, and a lifetime supply of free-of-charge courses at the Redland National Training Centre.
The roofing apprentices are selected from building colleges throughout England and Wales, from County Durham to Truro and from Tonypandy to Chelmsford. And they come from all manner of backgrounds, proving the attractions of a skilled trade in construction.
From youngsters, fresh from school, to those seeking a second career after serving in the forces, roofing offers a rewarding and fulfilling career for those with the right attitude.
Liam Smy is typical. Aged 17, Liam trains with Eastern Region Roof Training Group and works at Ipswich-based roofers Scofield and Lait. “He’s a conscientious lad,” says Phil Gant, Scofield and Lait’ owner and director. “His timekeeping and attitude are spot on and he is very reliable. He has the talent and the nous to go far in this industry”.
Ceiran Peel-Price, 28, of Irby on the Wirral in Merseyside, is another relatively late starter. He started his working life in the army, but was discharged on medical grounds. His boss, Les Perry, of Les Roofing Contractors, encouraged him to start an apprenticeship. “He’s a good lad and a quick learner and we thought that the apprentice scheme would encourage him”, says Les.
The competition is part of a strategy by Redland – the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of pitched roof systems – to address the challenges faced by the industry in meeting the ambitious Government housing targets. The sector must recruit 700,000 more people to replace those retiring or moving on, plus an extra 120,000 if the government’s aim to build one million new homes by 2020 is to be achieved.
“We recognise the need to ensure new joiners to the industry receive the necessary levels of support that they need to develop and succeed which is why we launched this programme,” commented David Patrick, Redland’s Head of Marketing.
The final takes place over two days – 27th and 28th June – at the Redland National Training Centre. Finalists will receive professional coaching on all aspects of running a roofing business – including business planning, presentation skills, and technical skills – before being assessed, making this a complete learning experience.
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 to help pass the baton on to this next generation of roofers.
The competition peaks with the Apprentice of the Year Awards Dinner – consisting of the 10 finalists, their tutors and employers, and judges – where the winner of the 2017 competition will be announced.
The 10 finalists in the Redland Apprentice of the Year competition are:
1. David Crank, Stanley, County Durham. Training with Newcastle College and apprentice to Hodgson Sayers.
2. Thomas Knight, Truro, Cornwall. Training with South West Roof Training Group and apprentice to Wheeler Roofing Services.
3. Kieran Langhan, Selby, Yorkshire. Training with Leeds College of Building and apprentice to David Langhan Roofing Contractor.
4. Gavin Metson, Chelmsford, Essex. Training with Eastern Region Roof Training Group and apprentice to Avonside.
5. Ben Kearns, Stoke-on-Trent. Training with NCC Midlands and apprentice to Novus Property Solutions.
6. Ceiran Peel-Price, Irby, Wirral, Merseyside. Training with Bolton College and apprentice to Les Perry Roofing Contractors.
7. Liam Smy, Ipswich, Suffolk. Training with Eastern Region Roof Training Group and apprentice to Scofield and Lait.
8. Joe Stradling, Frome, Somerset. Training with NCC South and apprentice to West Country Tiling.
9. Moy Trott, Tonypandy, Wales. Training with Wales National Roof Training Group and apprentice to Trottsco.
10. Ollie Young, Bath. Training with Cornwall College and apprentice to Young’s Roofing.