A site manager from Shrewsbury and former Shrewsbury College student has been crowned the runner-up in the Youth Build Young Builder of the Year 2015 competition.
Nathan Buckley, from Shrewsbury, 25, is the site manager for the family-run Shropshire-based building firm, English Construction, where he started as an apprentice in 2009.
Director of the firm, David English, entered Nathan into the awards, which seek to recognise those who have overcome adversity in the building trade. Nathan, currently oversees 20 tradespeople and three apprentices and after being dogged by various injuries has had to come off the tools and carve out a different career path for himself within the industry.
He was recently invited to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster with his wife Laura, to accept the runner-up prize in the UK-wide competition, which also saw him being awarded £250 in cash and a £500 gift voucher for Tool Station, from Youthbuild UK President Baroness Smith of Basildon.
Nathan said: “It was a bit of shock to come second to be honest! I really didn’t think I was in with a chance. All of the finalists got to meet beforehand and talk to each other and from hearing their stories I really didn’t think I would win anything. The idea of the awards is to recognise people who have overcome barriers and done well for themselves.
“I have suffered with a bad back for a few years now, so despite my age, found I could not carry on working on the tools and it’s an ongoing issue so had to find a new role within construction and moved up into management. I feel this award will be a real boost for my career.”
The company, now in its 13th year, and its staff has won an armful of awards previously, including the Federation of Master Builders Regional Apprentice of the Year won by not only Nathan, but his brother Jack and Arron Hughes, who were all apprentices with the company.
It has also been both the National and Regional winner for Waste Minimisation and Energy Efficiency, best small renovation and winners for the best extension to a care home.
The company, owned by David and Jennifer English who live near Shrewsbury, has taken on 15 apprentices since its conception, all through with Shrewsbury College.
Over the last 13 years, the company has undertaken projects ranging from minor works to contracts in excess of four million pounds in the Midlands and in the South East including the development of The Lady Forester Nursing Home in Much Wenlock, which is now well underway.
David English said: “I started English Construction because I wanted a highly skilled workforce to build an extension for Bowbrook Nursing Home in Shrewsbury. The team are very experienced in working on heritage buildings and are specialists in the care home sector.
“Nathan started with me very early on as an apprentice and has climbed the ranks consistently ever since. Despite the various injuries he has suffered with, he has always had excellent organisational and leadership skills and management was a natural progression for him. I feel comfortable leaving projects and our workforce in the capable hands of Nathan and this award is well–deserved.”
Stuart Raine, Curriculum Leader for Construction and Trades at Shrewsbury College and Nathan’s former tutor, said: “Nathan was an excellent apprentice and is a very skilled carpenter. Now he oversees the development of a number of apprentices himself with English Construction and his training has come full circle. It’s a testament to his hard work and determination he has been given this award.”
For more information about construction courses or Apprenticeships at Shrewsbury College, please call Course Advice on 01743 342411, visit the website, www.shrewsbury.ac.uk or you can follow the College on Facebook: ShrewsburyCollege and Twitter: @ShrewsburyCol