A SCAFFOLDER with Down’s syndrome has been named the country’s number one apprentice.

Swindon’s Todd Scanlon won a public vote for the 2019 On The Tools award after being nominated for overcoming his fear of heights, and for his boundless energy and commitment to learn new skills as part of his apprenticeship.

Todd said: “It feels great to win the award.

“I don’t really know why I won the award, people just voted for me to win.

“At the company I mainly do a lot of fittings and carrying.

“I wanted to go in to scaffolding because it’s my favourite thing to do.”

More than 4,500 people voted for the 30-year-old from Rodbourne to win the honour.

Coles Scaffolding company owner Martyn Coles said: “He has great determination.

“He comes in every day and proves people wrong. Winning the award just shows he can do it.

“Having him on the site is great, he’s a good presence, all of the customers like him and he’s very polite.

“When we took him on we didn’t have any worries. I know his capability, but he is still proving to be better than whatever expectations we have. Everything you put in front of him he just does.

“I’m not sure why he won the award, but I think it’s mainly because it is thought people with a disability shouldn’t be in our industry.

"He’s just shown that you can do it with the right guidance. He’s just a likeable guy.”

Martyn, whose firm is based in Greenmeadow, is hoping Todd can be an inspiration to others.

He said: “I definitely think he shows people like him can get into the business.

“It’s very rewarding as a company to see someone like that progress and continue to progress and it shows other people that there is jobs out there that they can do.”

Designed to recognise both individuals and leading brands, the 26 awards were judged by a panel of industry judges and an online public vote. The event was presented by stand-up comedian Justin Moorhouse, with the 450 guests at a gala dinner including builders, tradespeople and representatives of top construction brands.

The ceremony was held at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham and sponsored by Jewson.

CEO of On The Tools Lee Wilcox said: “Todd was nominated for all of his hard work and determination. He has chosen to be involved in a tough part of the industry and thrived, and he’s done this while living with Down’s syndrome.

“He’s a credit to the industry.”