What On The Tools’ apprentice of the year is doing now

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In 2019, Todd Scanlon, a scaffolder with Downs’ Syndrome, won Apprentice of the Year at the On The Tools awards. We caught up with Todd and Coles Scaffolding to see how things are going…

In 2019, On The Tools awarded Todd, a scaffolder with Downs’ Syndrome, the title Apprentice of the Year at the On The Tools awards.

Todd was nominated for overcoming his fear of heights, his energy and his commitment to learning in his apprenticeship. He won with over 4,500 public votes from the On The Tools community.

Todd’s story opened the doors of communication around Down’s syndrome and additional needs within the On The Tools community: ensuring that he, and more people like Todd, feel welcome in the online construction community.

We caught up with Todd and Coles Scaffolding to chat about what Todd’s award meant and how things are going…

HOW IT STARTED

Having a deep interest in construction, Todd had been asking Martyn Coles, of Coles Scaffolding, for a work placement for years. His career with Coles scaffolding began when Martyn asked Todd’s mum for permission to work with him.

Martyn was quickly impressed by Todd’s hard work, determination, and enthusiasm. It wouldn’t be long before Todd impressed thousands of members of the On The Tools community as well.

Towards the end of 2019, a public vote via the On The Tools community took place, to vote for Apprentice of the year. A staggering 4,500 people voted for Todd Scanlon, who had been nominated for the award for overcoming his fear of heights, and for his energy and commitment to learning in his apprenticeship.

HOW IT’S GOING

“Since Todd’s won apprentice of the year, he’s been to college and done his scaffold assistant card… It’s a massive achievement. The exposure has been great for people with Downs’ and construction as a whole. It can be done.”

– Martyn Coles, MD Coles Scaffolding

Todd’s story opened the doors of communication around Down’s syndrome and additional needs within the On The Tools community: ensuring that he, and more people like Todd, feel welcome in the online construction community.

Comments from the story about Todd include:

“Top lads. More companies should do the same.”

“Absolutely brilliant. Hats off to you and your company for giving this guy a start when normally he would be overlooked. Respect.”

ADDITIONAL NEEDS IN CONSTRUCTION

There are around 40,000 people in the UK living with Down’s Syndrome, and countless others with additional needs. However, people who have Down’s syndrome often face barriers and prejudice, lack of opportunities, low expectations, stereotyping and other negative attitudes, says the Down’s Syndrome Association.

Putting your community first means creating a space where people can belong and feel safe to express themselves. Part of this commitment involves being able to respect and embrace diversity and difference.

We continued to celebrate Coles Scaffolding and Todd Scanlon for their achievements and for opening the door for the topic of Down’s syndrome within the On The Tools community.

Find out how we keep our communities safe here.
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