BMF Members’ Day: Merchant Training Company of the Year

BMF Members’ Day: Merchant Training Company of the Year

The BMF’s annual Awards Dinner on Thursday 27th September provided the ideal opportunity to recognise merchants who have ‘gone the extra mile’ in their commitment to supporting their teams through BMF training.

At this year’s event, held at the FA’s National Football Centre in Burton upon Trent, MGM Timber was named BMF Training Company of the Year, with Chandlers Building Supplies ‘Highly Commended’ as a close runner-up.

MGM, the largest independent timber merchant in Scotland, joined the BMF at the beginning of 2017 shortly after announcing ambitious expansion plans. The business was said to have lost no time in in choosing the BMF as its training provider as it wanted “merchant-focussed training that would be of practical benefit for its growing business”.

In little over a year, the BMF Award is in recognition of the “giant strides” it has made. For example,MGM demonstrated a committment to training new recruits and younger staff, with 11 current employees in training through BMF Apprenticeships Plus Apprenticeship training Agency (ATA) to SVQ levels.

Developing managers and potential managers is another priority and it now has a total of 10 team members studying for the BMF Diploma in Merchanting. In addition, in the last year, MGM has also undertaken 10 days of in-house training to upskill 60 members of staff in key areas of the business using the BMF’s Essential Sales, Managing for Success and Yard Foreman’s Toolkit courses.

MGM Timber is now training at all levels within its organisation and it is this breadth and depth of training that helped the merchant to claim the 2018 BMF Training Company of the Year Award.

Sussex-based Chandlers Building Supplies, meanwhile, was Highly Commended by the judges for a well-crafted training programme, again aligned to specific staff graded levels throughout its business.

The firm worked closely with BMF Regional Manager Alex Clifford and BMF tutors to develop a number of in-house programmes. These include an innovative two year roll-on training plan for new starters which combines 12 set courses to form a rounded development programme.

Young achievers

The BMF Awards also celebrated the achievements of young people who have recently entered the industry or are taking the next steps up their chosen career ladder:

Joe Etherington of Bridport Building Supplies, BMF Apprentice of the Year Level 2.

Joe, who is undertaking a Trade Business Services apprenticeship through the BMF ATA, is excelling in all aspects and has impressed customers, colleagues and his training provider alike with his diligence and attention to detail.

Thomas Smith of Manningham Concrete in Bradford, BMF Apprentice of the Year Level 3.

Thomas is undertaking a Digital Marketing apprenticeship, again through the BMF ATA, which provides a gateway to a diverse range of training opportunities.  Thomas is recognised as a hardworking, goal-oriented team player by his colleagues who have been impressed by his progress and the goals he has achieved to date.

Philip Long of John A Stephens in Nottingham, top performing student on the BMF Post Graduate Diploma in Leadership & Strategy.

Philip was awarded a Distinction in this course and achieved the highest mark.

Steve Shorey of Alsford Timber, top performer on the BMF Masters Degree in Leadership & Strategy.

Steve was said to “amply demonstrate the power of personal development”. Having completed the BMF Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership & Strategy in 2017 he then went on to study and achieve his Masters Degree in July 2018.

To find out more about any aspect of BMF training, contact or on 02456 854980, or visit


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BMF announces Merchant Training Company of the Year nominees


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