Apprentice, David Crank, discusses his national shortlisting for Redland Apprentice of the Year

I have been at the company for nearly five years now, for the first four I was a labourer and as part of my role I had the chance to learn more about roofing by working closely with the teams.

I knew that this was an area that I could progress into and when the opportunity arose I put myself forward for an apprenticeship in pitched roofing.

I have now nearly completed my first year and I am really enjoying it. I get to work on some fantastic projects, currently, I am working up at Belsay Hall on a roof restoration project, a great opportunity for me.

As well as working on projects, I also spend block sessions at Newcastle College learning the theory to the trade and this is where I came across the opportunity to take part in the Redland Apprentice of the Year.

The challenge was on for roofing apprentices who one day could potentially run their own business. We were encouraged to come forward and convince the team why we would be the most likely candidate to succeed.

I thought I would give the opportunity a go and had to document my case via either video or an essay. I chose essay and was shocked to discover that I was a finalist!

I am one of ten who will take part in the two day final (27th and 28th June) in Gloucestershire. Accommodation is provided and as a finalist I will receive professional coaching on all aspects of running a roofing business. There are also knowledge sharing sessions with roof industry leaders before we go head-to-head for the title.

This is a great opportunity for me and I would like to thank the company for encouraging me to take part. Should I win I will receive £1,000, a lifetime supply of free courses at Redland National Training Centre plus a certificate and trophy for both myself and the company to display.

I will report back next month, keep your fingers crossed for me!