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James, his manager, Spark awards chief executive officer and James' mum from left to right

Ealing apprentice wins an award

An Ealing Council apprentice won an award in the prestigious Spark! Awards. At an awards ceremony on 29 November 2022 at the University of West London, James Byrne, town planning apprentice, was recognised for his commitment, passion and inspirational journey.

For 35 years Spark! Awards have been celebrating hard-fought successes of young people.

James says: “It’s been a very busy year and my colleagues have all been extremely supportive throughout my apprenticeship, so I am delighted and feel honoured that they nominated me for this award and of course, for winning it!”

Meet James

After working at his nearest WHSmith for around six years, James was not seeing a progression route for himself in retail.

He applied for a business administration role at the council. Although unsuccessful at first, James stood out to the apprenticeship team with his skills and potential. He was put forward for a town planning level 3 technical support apprenticeship, which he was successful in being recruited to and subsequently completed.

Despite a challenging time of working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, his team were very impressed with James and when it came to the end of his apprenticeship, it is not surprising that they were very happy to offer him the progression role as a level 4 town planning assistant apprentice.

James has also been a great ambassador of the council apprenticeship scheme and has been actively promoting apprenticeships at careers fairs and apprentice group interviews. He has also gone out of his comfort zone to learn to speak and present to large numbers of people or engaging with residents during National Apprenticeship Weeks.

Good jobs for Ealing

Councillor Peter Mason, Leader of Ealing Council comments: “Big congratulations to James – a very well-deserved award. We are incredibly proud of him and all our staff at Ealing Council for providing award winning public services to our residents and businesses.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for decent living incomes adds: “We have been promoting the value of apprenticeships both at the council and with Ealing businesses. As outlined in our Good Jobs for Ealing, we are committed to securing 2,000 new diverse apprenticeships, both at the council and with local employers. Get in touch with our apprenticeships team to check the apprenticeship roles at the council. We would love if you join us and who knows, next year you can be in James place and be an award winner.”

Explore an apprenticeship

Visit Work Ealing’s apprenticeships zone to learn more about apprenticeships and help finding one – whether at the council or with a local employer.

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