The winners of the 2019 Fit-Out Futures Awards were announced in front of more than 350 industry leaders during the annual FIS President’s Lunch which took place at the prestigious Plaisterer’s Hall in the City of London.

The awards recognise the outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals within the sector across four categories: Apprentice of the Year, Outstanding Employee, Future Leader and Lifetime Achievement.

The winners and runners-up for each category were:

Apprentice of the Year

Winner – John Taylor, apprentice carpenter at Stortford Interiors

Since the start of his apprenticeship, John has demonstrated his willingness to learn and progress his skills both on-site and at college. Paul Leach, operations director at Stortford Interiors, who nominated John, said: “He has demonstrated best practice, learning, attitude, professionalism, skills and behaviour from day one. This train of thought has been echoed from numerous sources including mentors, clients, directors and work colleagues.”

Runner-up – Danny Beadle, apprentice site manager at Pexhurst Services

Danny was recognised for his commitment to all aspects of the day-to-day site role, as well as his dedication to learning and improving his skill-set.

Outstanding Employee

Winner – Matt Taylor, design manager at Astins

With more than 18 years’ experience in the industry, Matt was recognised for his never-ending energy and professionalism for design and to the industry.

Runner-up – Ed Kelly, group operations manager at Etag Fixings

Ed was commended for his exceptional reliability, quality of work, initiative and professionalism, as well as his commitment to Etag’s work values.

Future Leader

Winner – Simon Broggio, contracts manager at Meronden
Having joined Meronden as a labourer, Simon quickly showed potential through his eagerness to learn and positive work ethic. Over time, he worked his way through the company, initially by taking on small projects and learning the skills associated with running a larger contract.

Following successful completion of a Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) course, Simon took on responsibility for running larger contracts and more recently completed an £800k bedroom and reception area refurbishment for a central London hotel.

Runner-up – Richard Austen, construction manager at Stortford Interiors

Richard was awarded runner-up due to his enthusiasm to adopt new ways of working and new technologies. He was also recognised for his ability to manage both his peers and his superiors.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner – Ray Deeks of G Cook and Sons

Ray has always been a keen supporter of the plastering trade and for the past 20 years has been on the technical committee of the FPDC and the Heritage Forum of the FIS. He serves on two committees at the BSI and is the UK’s representative on the European Standards Committee for Plastering and External Rendering. He was also deeply involved with the recent revision of BS EN 13914 parts 1 and 2 and is also involved with training, assisting the CITB with the formation and updating of standards and qualifications. Additionally, he recently assisted the FMB with the creation of the new Trailblazer Apprenticeship in Plastering.