Career success for apprentices at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

With National Apprenticeship Week beginning today (Monday 3 March), the London Legacy Development Corporation is celebrating the success of the apprentices that have worked on the transformation of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

  • Sixteen apprentices at London’s newest Park have already moved on to permanent employment
  • Over 60 apprentices have worked on the Park’s transformation, 95 per cent of which are from the neighbouring boroughs
  • With the south of the Park opening on 5 April there are even more apprenticeship opportunities

More than 60 apprentices have played a part in the creation of London’s newest Park and the Legacy Corporation is proud to have supported 16 of these into permanent employment both on and off the Park

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park delivered the largest group of apprentices on a single site in London in a variety of roles including construction operatives, site engineers and business administrators. Ninety-five per cent of these apprentices are young people from the Park’s neighbouring boroughs and 25 per cent are female. Many are still completing their apprenticeships at the Park, while 16 of them are now in permanent employment within the Park and surrounding areas, including Gintare Butkute, LB Newham, Stuart Devlin, LB Hackney, Kristian Glabraith, LB Tower Hamlets, and Kemal Erguvenler, LB Waltham Forest.

Gintare Butkute, LB Newham

Gintare, 26, from Stratford, began her apprenticeship in Business Administration in April 2013 with BAM Nuttall. Having successfully completed her placement there, she began a permanent position with Balfour Beatty in February 2014 working on the transformation of the Stadium. Her role now includes managing  reception at the busy Stadium offices where she is responsible for issuing security passes to visitors among other things.

Gintare said: “I decided I wanted to do an apprenticeship because I thought it would be a good opportunity to get experience as well as qualifications. I’ve achieved so much but the best thing was getting the role with Balfour Beatty, it was an absolutely fantastic feeling to be offered this role. I would advise anyone who is thinking of taking up an apprenticeship to just go for it.”

Stuart Devlin, LB Hackney

Stuart, 21, from Homerton, began a Construction Operative apprenticeship in January 2013. Following his placement with BAM Nuttall he began a permanent role with Jackson, the civil engineering contractor responsible for ancillary works at the Park in December 2013. Stuart now works on a variety of projects including concrete cutting and top soiling as part of his new role.

Stuart said: “Getting an apprenticeship was a way for me to get into a trade and start a full time career. I was so excited and happy to have been given the role with Jackson, it’s definitely been the best part of being an apprentice.”

Kristian Galbraith, LB Tower Hamlets

Kristian, 21, from the Isle of Dogs, studied Electrical Installation at Epping Forest College but found it difficult to get his first break in to the industry. He started work as a Construction Operative apprentice at the Park with BAM Nuttall in January 2013 and secured a permanent job, also with Jackson, in January 2014. 

Kristian said: “Doing an apprenticeship has helped me get the break I needed. Everyone wants work experience and an apprenticeship gives you that as well as the opportunities for full time employment, a career and a future. I was over the moon to have been offered a permanent role with Jackson. They have already given me so much training and I would recommend that anyone else thinking about apprenticeships should jump into it because it’s definitely worth it.”

Kemal Erguvenler, LB Waltham Forest

Kemal, 25, from Chingford, started a Construction Operative apprenticeship with BAM Nuttall in January 2013. He then completed a six month placement with Tamdown Construction working on the L&Q mixed use redevelopment of the former arcade site in Walthamstown as a groundworker. Following the completion of this placement, Kemal is now working on another L&Q redevelopment, Walthamstow Dogs stadium, a £50million plan to build over 200 homes and community facilities.

Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “It’s a brilliant legacy of the London 2012 Games that many people from the local area have been able to play a part in transforming Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. To see their hard work secure them permanent employment is truly inspiring. With the Aquatics Centre and Copper Box Arena both already open, and the south of the Park opening on 5 April, we are thrilled that there will be even more opportunities for local people to begin successful careers at the Park.”

Since beginning a large programme of construction works at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in October 2012, the London Legacy Development Corporation has placed a focus on the creation of apprenticeship opportunities as a way of giving local young people a route into a career. The apprenticeship programme is designed to equip young people with the skills, information, confidence and motivation they need to plan and manage their own careers. 

Changing trends in the construction industry have made it more difficult for many firms to offer traditional apprenticeships. In response to this issue, the Legacy Corporation has used an Apprenticeship Training Agency model on site, delivered by Reds10, which allows people to complete an apprenticeship across different projects and under the guidance of multiple firms. This approach has allowed for the delivery of apprenticeship opportunities that would not have otherwise been created on the Park.

With the south of the Park opening on 5 April, there are even more opportunities for local people to take up apprenticeships from sports and leisure positions to construction roles.

Images can be downloaded here and to see the apprentices in action watch our video here