Following EE Smiths success as being recognised as the UK’s 28th Best Apprentice Employer in the UK, the highest ranked construction company and holders of the Construction News Award for Finishes and Fit Out Specialists of the Year 2020, plus being nominated this year, EE Smith was recognised with a Highly Commended award from the Construction News awards for Contractor of the Year 2021 with praise for the use of innovation to drive efficiency and increased productivity as well as commitment to training apprentices and promoting staff wellbeing, particularly with respect to mental health.

FIS member Measom Dryline has also beeen recognised, with apprentice Zak Stephens receiving the Construction News Apprentice of the Year 2021.  The judges said of Zak Stephens, who joined Measom in 2019, “Zak is an extremely dedicated and capable apprentice who will go very far within construction.  Zak takes huge pride in his work and is a credit to his employer, to himself and to the industry.  It is clear that Measom Dryline wish they could clone him.”

Errigal Contracts has received a Royal seal of approval for its apprenticeship programme, the Princess Royal Training Award for Excellence in Training Standards for their Apprenticeship in Drylining and Interior Systems.  Damien Treanor Joint Managing Director said “Training and development is at the very core of who we are here at Errigal.  Receiving this award is vindication for the vision and investment over the past 5 years and the commitment Errigal have to training into the future, I am thankful for the hard work and dedication all at Errigal have to the training and development of young people.  Our true reward is seeing these young people grow in confidence while on our Apprenticeships and knowing that they will have a positive influence on their fellow workers in the years to come and receiving this award is positive for our sector and the construction industry”.

Of the six finalists in this year’s National SkillsBuild Competition five of the individuals competing in the Plastering and Drywall Systems category are from FIS members.  Errigal Contracts have Liam Watson, Matthew Connolly and Ignas Kurasovas representing them this year, Ciara King says, “We are delighted to have three of our apprentices compete in the National finals for the second year in a row.  Mathew, Liam and Ignas have been training hard and they are looking forward to the challenge.  The WorldSkills competitions really help to build confidence in young people who are learning their trade and we are very proud of the success Errigal apprentices continue to have”.

FIS members Leeds College of Building are represented by Zara Dupont and West London College are represented by Tommy Falco.  The competition is being held at the National Construction College in Bircham Newton on 16, 17 and 18 November 2021.

SkillBuild is the largest multi-trade competition in the UK, it showcases the talent of construction trainees and forms a part of WorldSkills UK.  Find out more about SkillBuild and learn how to take part in next year’s UK competitions.

George Swann FIS Skills and Training Lead says, “these are fantastic achievements not only for the young people, but for all who have been involved in their development.  It is a great example of the investment the finishes and interiors sector employers are making in new entrants and young talent.  If any FIS member needs help finding new entrants, apprentices, training provision or ensuring your organisation is getting the funding you are eligible for, contact FIS on 0121 707 0077 or email