A KEY HIGHLIGHT in the UK construction calendar is back with the launch of the BMI Apprentice of the Year 2021 competition – one of the leading apprenticeship events in the sector.
BMI actively supports colleges throughout the UK with their work training roofing apprentices and the contest seeks to find the UK’s most promising apprentices and reward them for their commitment, ability and potential.
What makes the BMI Apprentice of the Year stand out from other competitions is its focus on the business dimensions – marketing, finance and presentation, for example – of a career in roofing, rather than purely tradecraft, although these vitally important skills are not overlooked during the two-day event either.
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.
“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”.
Matt Ford won the pitched roof category in 2019 and considers the way the competition can bring out the best in individuals and develop areas that aren’t all about roofing.
“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. As a result, it’s led me to seek more responsibility and broaden my horizons, such as working with the charity Band of Builders. It’s also encouraged me to upskill across the trade too and work with the full variety of materials like lead and slate, as well as traditional tiles”.
This year’s competition opens on 1 September 2021 and welcomes all those recognised as an apprentice by their employer, or those working towards qualified status. Each year, the competition picks a theme and for 2021 it’s ‘influence’, and BMI is looking for contestants who have what it takes to influence peers and those in the wider roofing community. Closing date for entries is 1 October.
Entrants selected for the final, which takes place on the 17 and 18 November at the BMI Academy in Gloucestershire, will receive coaching on a range of topics including presentation skills, health and safety, estimating and making technical assessments.
The event is whole-heartedly backed by BMI’s college partners and their tutors. As Alan Lander of the South West Roof Training Group – and tutor to many finalists – says: “Everything about the event is first class and we missed it greatly during the pandemic. The experience and takeaways the apprentices get from the competition are outstanding. The only worry ever is how BMI will manage to match it year-on-year – and yet they do”!
Mat Woodyatt, BMI Technical Training Manager, explains: “BMI Apprentice of the Year is our chance to recognise and applaud apprentice success stories across the country. Our commitment to help train apprentices is unwavering and the competition allows us to reward those working hard to achieve their goals. We are really looking forward to welcoming the finalists to the BMI Academy in November”.
For more information and to enter BMI Apprentice of the Year, visit