We feel the future of roofing is in safe hands if individuals like Philip Houghton are anything to go by. Phil, who works at our Avonside Braintree branch after completing his NVQ apprenticeship course with Eastern Region Roof Training Group in Ipswich in Suffolk back in August 2019, is currently celebrating winning a gold medal in the Roofing: Slating and Tiling category at the WorldSkills UK National competition final.
The National WorldSkills UK final was held at the NEC Birmingham between 21 – 23 November. During the tough three-day contest, 500 finalists competed across 70 different skills and disciplines. They had each earned their place in the finals, following a fiercely competitive round of qualifiers which 300 people participated in. The Roofing: Slating & Tiling Final had been reduced to eight competitors from the regional finals, which were held at Eastern Region Training Group’s training centre in Ipswich.
Phil and Avonside Braintree were thrilled to find out that he had been selected to compete in the 2019 WorldSkills UK National finals in Birmingham in November. Brilliantly, Phil won through to the National final, achieving a distinction at the Regional final.
During the three-day event, Phil’s excellence shone through from start to finish, and he was complemented by the judges for producing outstanding workstations, complete and on time. Phil’s commitment and dedication to his roofing work were recognised, not only with a prestigious Gold Medal (First Place) and his reward, but a once in a lifetime opportunity to go through to the International World Skills competition to represent Team UK in the distinguished skills Olympics and battle for his chance to be crowned World Champion in his chosen skill of roofing.
Branch Director for Avonside Braintree, Steven Blake praised Phil’s skill and conduct throughout the competition:
“Phil [pictured right] has been a fantastic employee, and has represented himself, Avonside Roofing and his training provider, Eastern Region Roof Training in the best way possible with these outstanding achievements.
“We would like to personally congratulate Phil on placing first and winning the Gold Medal. Hopefully, he will now go on to represent Team UK in 2020 and we wish him the best of luck for the competition. We will be supporting him all the way.”
Clive Coote of Eastern Region Roof Training Ltd was also keen to applaud Phil’s attitude and approach to work:
“Phil joined us in 2017 having just turned 18. Working for Avonside Roofing Group, Braintree, from day one Phil has always been a confident student who believes in his own ability to do well.
“Phil enjoys roofing, and this has shown in abundance in the theory and practical elements of his apprenticeship. He liked mentoring other apprentices and was excellent with local school children who visited Eastern Roof Training for taster sessions.
“Whilst completing his apprenticeship, Phil remained focused on his end goal of success; he was realistic and knew he had to work hard to achieve. His tutors describe him as a joy to teach both in and out of the classroom and comment on his passion for helping other students to reach his same high standards.
Phil was successful in the regional heats of skill build which led to him being selected to compete in the World-Skills final held at the NEC Birmingham. He pitted himself up against seven other regional apprentices from all over the country. With an inner belief, a gritty determination and a strong desire to be the apprentice of the year, Phil got his just rewards and will be receiving his gold medal for placing first in the competition, an outstanding achievement by an outstanding young man.”
WorldSkills UK is all about helping young people accelerate their careers, by acquiring the skills that employers need most. The competition unites apprentices and young people from across the UK to compete to be the best in their chosen discipline, first in regional heats, then national competitions and then as Team UK in international skills competitions. The aim of the competitions is to encourage today’s students and apprentices to fulfil their ambitions whilst striving for excellence and gaining lifelong, beneficial world-class skills.
We’d like to say a huge well done to Phil on behalf of Avonside Group – you’ve done us proud Phil!