The 2014/15 Apprenticeship Awards were held on 4 March 2015 at City Hall.
We recognised winners in eight categories for apprentices and employers. You can read all about them below, or download the brochure here to find out more about all the nominees.
Apprentice of the Year and runner up
This award recognises the apprentice who has made the biggest positive impact with their employer and has demonstrated a commitment to developing their career and inspiring others.
Steven Condon – Apprentice of the Year
Prior to embarking on his Level 2 apprenticeship in Leisure Operations, Steven had never worked in the sports and leisure industry and came through a highly competitive recruitment process to begin work at the Copper Box Arena in June 2013. A natural leader with excellent front-end customer service skills, Steven has emerged as a dedicated, motivated and professional member of the Copper Box Arena team. Noted for his flexibility and can-do attitude he has been promoted to Venue Duty Manager, a role that sees him play a key role in managing the day-to-day operation of the former Olympic and Paralympic venue that hosts national and international sporting events, conferences, concerts and shows.
Gintare Butkute – Runner up
Gintare has worked at the Park since February 2014, successfully completing her NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration before moving onto a Level 3 with Balfour Beatty at the Stadium. During her time here, Gintare has grown in confidence and recently took on management of the on-site Speedy Hire facility that delivers employer-led training. Noted for her ability to learn quickly and carry out a range of different tasks, and with a keen interest in furthering her knowledge of the industry, Gintare is now an indispensable member of the Construction Management team and has a bright future ahead of her.
Mohammed Mohammed – Runner up
Mohammed joined Imtech in January 2014 as a Level 3 Electro-technical apprentice. Courteous and driven, with his mantra of “Listen, learn, try, repeat”, he is a passionate advocate of health and safety standards and has become an integral part of his team at the Stadium. Technically capable, with exemplary timekeeping and a willingness to work extra when required, Mohammed never shies away from asking questions and his options and ideas as to how installation methods could be improved have been implemented, improving processes as well as saving time and money.
Most Improved Apprentice Award
This award recognises an apprentice who has made significant progress whilst with their employer and who has demonstrated a firm commitment to achieving their apprenticeship.
Kojo Foster – Award winner
Kojo joined Central Essex Interiors as an apprentice dryliner in October 2014 after having enrolled himself in a construction multi-trade course. A recipient of the Apprentice of the Month award, during his short time on site Kojo has stood out as a respectful, diligent and very hard working member of his team. His supervisors have been impressed both with his ability, positive attitude and the way he has been a role model to another new apprentice starter with CEI, imparting valuable advice about health and safety on site as well as how small and simple changes to behaviour can make important differences to your performance in the eyes of employers.
Individual Achievement Award
This award recognises a new entrant or trainee with an exemplary attitude that has overcome additional barriers and demonstrated a promising future.
Junior Standley – Award winner
Junior is an apprentice with the Camden Society at the Timber Lodge Café, who came into the sector with very little experience and is now working towards a Level 2 NVQ in Food and Beverage Service. Junior is half way through his apprenticeship and has grown in confidence in customer-facing roles, developing new skills and demonstrating a determination to learn and achieve at every step.
With Junior’s combined passion for the industry and eagerness to learn new skills, colleagues at the Timber Lodge have seen him grow into an exceptional customer service assistant who regularly receives glowing feedback from customers. As he fine tunes further skills in catering and hospitality, he has a very bright future ahead of him in the industry.
Employer of the Year 2014/15
This award recognises the employer who has demonstrated the highest level of commitment to delivering apprenticeships at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Balfour Beatty, The Stadium
After being shortlisted for their work at the London Aquatics Centre in 2013, Balfour Beatty has set the standard for apprenticeship delivery in 2014/15 during the transformation works at the former Olympic and Paralympic Stadium. Balfour Beatty has taken a leadership role from the outset of the project, working with subcontractors, local partners and delivery organisations to implement a model that has enabled many local people to secure apprenticeships at the Stadium.
By implementing a flexible approach, Balfour Beatty has opened up opportunities for over 30 apprentices. This success has been achieved by directly employing apprentices and, where that hasn’t been possible, using an Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA). The use of the ATA has allowed for two subcontractors who had not previously taken on apprentices to do so.
Balfour Beatty has provided additional support by hosting monthly meetings which bring together apprentices across the Park and running an effective mentoring programme. This has allowed apprentices to progress their careers in the industry across a range of trades from construction operatives to engineers and business administrators.
Alongside apprenticeship delivery Balfour Beatty has also worked with local schools and participated in the ‘Ambassadors for Engineering’ programme.
Making it Happen Partnership Award
London Borough of Newham
The successful delivery of jobs and apprenticeships for local people at the Park is reliant on a range of partners working closely with employers on the one hand, and supporting candidates on their journey into employment on the other.
At Newham Workplace, colleagues have been able to consistently deliver candidates of a high standard and provide a responsive and tailored service to Park employers, resulting in significant numbers of local people accessing employment at several of the Park’s construction developments, and across a multitude of skills levels and trades. Above all, the excellent performance across the board at the Stadium has been in no small part down to the efforts of Tara Lucas and Alayna Rishi of Newham Workplace and this Award recognises their contribution to job and apprenticeship delivery.
Supporting New Apprenticeship Delivery
This award recognises an employer that has delivered their first apprenticeships during their time working at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
PHD Scaffolding and M & H Construction - Joint award winners, the Stadium
This award recognises two employers for whom the delivery of apprentices was a new experience. Since working at the Stadium, both have shown a commitment to working closely in partnership to source young people from the local area, creating new opportunities for apprentices to enter and progress in the construction industry.
Employer award for Equalities and Inclusion
This award recognises the commitment an employer has made to promoting opportunities for all and making careers at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park more inclusive and accessible.
Unity Kitchen Café at Timber Lodge– Award winner
By developing innovative initiatives to enable disabled people to start their career as apprentices, the Camden Society has far exceeded what are considered industry norms for equalities and inclusion. This approach is reflected at the Unity Kitchen Café in Timber Lodge, as apprentices account for 16% of the workforce, and people with a learning disability account for 40% of the total workforce.
Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Supporting Apprentices
This award recognises an employee who has set the highest standards in providing support and learning opportunities to their apprentices, enabling them to achieve success at work.
Barry Wake at Central Essex - Award winner
Good practice comes from the top and Barry Wake, who heads up the Central Essex Interiors workforce at the Stadium, has set the highest standards for apprenticeship delivery. Barry is keen to ensure that once in place, his apprentices’ experiences are positive and their employment sustained.
Through an initial period of work shadowing, Barry gets to know his apprentices personally allowing him to shape their work more effectively. Always open and communicative, he ensures their work is directly related to the units of their frameworks. Barry is committed to providing a positive working environment and, as such, has mentored his apprentices and matched them with suitable gangs on the ground that promotes their learning in an inclusive environment.