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What it takes to be a champion apprentice

3 mins

Commitment, graft and a willingness to grow are the hallmarks of a great apprentice, which Connor Liddell has in spades. No surprise then, that he was named NFRC Apprentice of the Year Scotland 2018.

Connor Liddell NFRC Apprentice of the Year
From the instant we received Connor’s information, we knew he had great potential,” says Mark Cattanach, managing director of Rooftec Scotland Ltd. Mark is describing the day back in 2015 when the deputy head teacher of a local school contacted them about sponsoring Connor Liddell. Connor has gone on to become NFRC Apprentice of the Year Scotland 2018, receiving an award at the NFRC Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year Awards. Good attitude is clearly the most important thing when deciding whether a school leaver will be able handle the rigours of roofing, and Connor immediately impressed. “He had a milk round from age 13, so we knew early rises, outdoor work in all weathers and a shift put in before school were the exact characteristics of the type of young person who had an excellent work ethic and desire to succeed, which we were looking for,” says Mark. Connor is one of four apprentices at Rooftec Scotland, a family-owned business based in Falkirk, which specialises in both pitched and flat roofs, and carries out lead works, demonstrating their commitment to binging young people into the industry. “From an apprenticeship in the roofing industry there are so many possibilities for the future, from working on iconic buildings, travelling to places you may otherwise never see to running your own business and Connor is grabbing this opportunity with both hands—he will go far in his career,” says Nicola Cattanach who runs the Rooftec Scotland office. She also arranges the training for their apprentices who are at various stages of completing their four-year Slating and Tiling courses at Edinburgh College. Connor, who completes his final year in 2019, has not only shown commitment to hard work and customer care on site, but also a willingness to promote roofing to other young people.

He has represented both the company and the NFRC in association with Traditional Scottish Building Forum, becoming a firm feature at these events over the past few years. In 2017 he also delivered a full day session at Falkirk College in 2017 as part of their trades’ summer school. 

In the early days Connor was quite shy at the events, however, he has gone from strength to strength in his own personal development, building his own confidence, which is very rewarding to witness,” says Mark.

The desire to spread the message is clearly important to Connor: “I really enjoy taking part in events such as Scottish Traditional Building Forum where I demonstrate and promote Roof Slating and Tiling to other young people in the Forth Valley Area,” says Connor.

From one of the Stirling demonstrations I was delighted to hear that a school pupil who attended is now an apprentice, like myself, and delivering demonstrations in their own local area.

Mark believes that Connor is at the start of great roofing career and that winning the accolade will have a positive impact on his growth as a skilled tradesman, helping him progress and also reward him for all he has given back to the industry in the short time he has been part of it.

I was so thrilled to have won the Apprentice of the Year 2018 award and had an amazing day at the ceremony,” says Connor. “Over the four years my confidence has grown, along with my roofing skills, and I will continue to promote the industry and the success that can be found in a roofing career.”

Like so many apprentices up and down Scotland and in the rest of the UK, Connor and his fellow apprentices at Rooftec Scotland demonstrate that the future of roofing is in good hands.

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