Apprentice awards

Each year we celebrate the role that apprentices play as a valued part of our workforce on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.  

Since the first cohort of apprentices worked with park contractors in the transformation of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, we have held annual Apprenticeship Awards with all employers on the Park, their apprentices and our wider partners at City Hall.

2015/16 Apprenticeship Awards

On 23 March 2016, the London Legacy Development Corporation's third annual Apprenticeship Awards took place at City Hall.

The event saw Perry Burton, a construction operative working at Chobham Manor, scoop 'Construction Apprentice of the Year', and James Mitchell-Hall, a facilities management apprentice at ENGIE, win 'End Use Apprentice of the Year'.

The other winners on the evening were:

Most Improved Apprentice: Renea Henry-Kemp, Active People, Active Park apprentice at the London Legacy Development Corporation
Individual Achievement Award: Alex Folkes, apprentice at Unity Kitchen Café, Timber Lodge
Best Work Placement/Intern: Joint winners: Femi Erinoso, Banksman/Gateman with Laing O’Rourke and Gabrielle Appiah, Soundings (UCL East)
Employer of the Year: Laing O’Rourke
Excellence in Mentoring and Supporting Apprentices: Dave Taylor, Electrical Site Manager , Laing O’Rourke, Here East
Equalities and Inclusion Award: Unity Kitchen Café at Timber Lodge
Making it Happen Partnership Award: Here East

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park apprentices have been involved in some of the Park’s most important projects, from the transformation work, through to the successful operation of the Park and its iconic venues. 

Their jobs range from construction and business administration at the Stadium, Chobham Manor and Here East to poolside and leisure roles at the London Aquatics Centre and Copper Box Arena; to maintaining the intricate landscaping in the parklands, providing hospitality in Park eateries such as the Timber Lodge Café and working with sports and leisure partners linked to the Park.

To help bring the stories of those apprentices to life, the London Legacy Development Corporation commissioned the below film, 'Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: Shaping London's future'. To view a selection of images from the event, click here.

  • 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 Awards

    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.

  • The 2013 Apprenticeship Awards were held on 18 December 2015 at City Hall.  

    We recognised winners in six 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

    This award recognises the apprentice who has made the biggest positive impact and has demonstrated their commitment to developing their career and to inspiring others.

    Leanne Doig, Construction Operative - Award winner

    Leanne is an enthusiastic and committed member of the team. She is prepared to work hard and makes the most of the opportunity, getting involved in as many aspects of construction works as she can. Leanne lives by the motto, “what you put in is what you get out”, and is known for her punctuality and timekeeping, as well as her zest for learning diligently taking notes about new topics and tasks.

    An exemplary team player, Leanne has been a loyal ambassador for the apprentice programme, giving time to take part in several media engagements. Leanne has raised the profile of women in construction and helped to promote opportunities for women in trade-based construction work. She readily admits to having had doubts about lasting the distance at the outset, but she has established herself as a key and valuable member of the team.

    Excellence in Health and Safety

    Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is one of the safest construction sites in Europe.  Our exemplary safety record has been maintained by all of us working together and being committed to a shared vision for safety. We look forward to continuing to set the standard as Park transformation completes and new work starts on areas such as our residential developments.  This award recognises the apprentice that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to health and safety and who has helped to make their working environment a safer place for everyone.

    Damien Ganesh –Award winner

    Damien is known by his peers as ’The Lucky Charm’ because his “constantly vigilant” approach to managing health and safety risks has meant that issues do not arise when he is on site. Damien is keen to learn and is proactive in seeking advice when it is needed.

    Damien always keeps his site clean and tidy to avoid any potential issues, and is always keenly aware of the safety requirements when using different machines.

    Principal Contractor Apprenticeship Award

    The award recognises three contractors that have made the biggest contribution to delivering apprentices at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2013.

    H&J Martin – despite a small workforce, H&J Martin went the extra mile in creating apprenticeships both within their own workforce and that of their subcontractors. Their commitment to working with key partners to deliver apprentices on site is an example for all to follow.

    BAM Nuttall – with a truly superb achievement of over 50 apprentices on site, they set the standard for the industry to follow, demonstrating how a flexible and innovative approach to apprenticeships can create varied pathways for local young people to access the construction industry.

    Balfour Beatty – Balfour Beatty have consistently demonstrated a deep-rooted commitment to apprenticeships and their work on the London Aquatics Centre, with a peak of eight apprentices, has continued a well-established track record of delivering opportunities for local young people to begin and develop their careers in the construction industry.

    Special Recognition Award for Contribution to Apprenticeships

    This award recognises the outstanding contribution made by two particular individuals in creating and delivering apprenticeship opportunities for young east Londoners during the past 12 months.

    The two individuals below have demonstrated a commitment to supporting over 50 young people through the highs and lows of their initial career steps in the construction industry helping them become the workforce of tomorrow.

    • Natascha Pellegrinetti, formerly of BAM Nuttall
    • Kenny Healey of BAM Nuttall

    Excellence in Mentoring Award

    These awards were presented by three apprentices that were supervised by the award winners.

    Delivering apprentices successfully requires a high level of commitment and dedication from those who have responsibility for managing them on a day-to-day basis. This award recognises three employees on the Park that have served as role models for the apprentices, guiding them and supporting their career development during their time on site and making a difference to our young people taking the first steps of their careers.

    The winners are:

    • Al Ceesay, ISG – presented by Yousof Khan (link to photo 9872)
    • Eilis Nolan – BAM Nuttall –presented by Gintare Butkute
    • Martin Rees – BAM Nuttall – presented by Leanne Doig

    Equalities and Inclusion Award 2013

    This award is presented to the contractor that has demonstrated a commitment to increasing and valuing diversity in their workforce, specifically through creating opportunities for groups that traditionally face barriers to employment.

    ISG Ltd – Award winner

    ISG Ltd was the principal contractor for the South Park Hub. Since day one on site, ISG have worked positively with a broad range of partners to create opportunities for women, disabled people and those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. Their proactive and flexible approach resulted in almost 10 per cent of their workforce being composed of disabled workers, by far the outstanding performance on the Park in this area.

    BAM Nuttall Ltd - Special recognition

    BAM pushed industry norms for increasing the diversity of their workforce. Using innovative approaches to enable women, disabled and minority ethnic workers to access employment, their workforce peaked at almost 10% of women and over 70% from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. Their commitment has made a real difference to those who have traditionally found it more difficult to enter the construction industry.