On a high! Apprentice, David Crank, reflects on the tremendous experience of competing for the Redland Apprentice of the Year

I had a fantastic time taking part as one of ten apprentices from across the UK, in the two-day final of the Redland Apprentice of the Year competition.

Just to recap, the event challenged roofing apprentices who may have the long term goal to run their own business, to come forward and convince the judges why they were most likely to succeed! A chance to really challenge apprentices not just on their practical skills but business skills.

The finalists received professional coaching on all aspects of running a roofing business, took part in knowledge sharing sessions with industry leaders before the ultimate battle – to be crowned the Redland Apprentice of the Year.

I may not have won the competition but what an experience! The team at Redland was great, I enjoyed staying in Gloucestershire with the lads and the food and hospitality was excellent.

During my time at the competition I had the opportunity to listen to a variety of talks from business professionals and governing bodies.

What I found most interesting were the talks from former apprentices who shared their own experiences on how they had progressed to successful careers and provided tips on how to run your own business.

There was, of course, some practical activity and as part of the competition I had to identify faults within a training rig. I had twenty minutes to look for the issues and then highlight them to the judges and identify the best way to fix the roof.

For anyone wanting to progress their career, I would urge them to enquire about entering the Redland Apprentice of the Year. I had the opportunity to mix with like-minded lads from across the UK and also find out how they are learning and how I compare to them.

Although I don’t know how the score system worked to see where I came within the group, I have come away with much more confidence, particularly when it comes to public speaking and communicating with colleagues.

I would very much like to take part in the competition next year and fingers crossed with more experience under my belt I could scoop the prize!

I would like to thank the people who presented me with the opportunity – first and foremost my college tutor who nominated me as well as Hodgson Sayers, which, from day one of my career, has encouraged me to pursue areas that I enjoy.

I joined the company five years ago as a labourer and I thought to myself I can progress my career knowing I would get the company’s full support and that has made the world of difference.