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Samantha Smith - Apprentice of the Year

Apprentices’ success celebrated

The borough’s finest apprentices were celebrated as part of the Ealing Apprenticeship Network Awards on Thursday, 1 November at Ealing Town Hall.

The awards also honoured training assessors, apprentice supervisors and employers who all provide outstanding support and services to apprentices.

This year, the Ealing Apprenticeship Network’s 100 apprenticeships in 100 days campaign has so far received 70 pledges to create new apprenticeships from 23 businesses and there’s still time for more employers to sign up. Finishing on Sunday, 9 December the campaign encourages business to offer access to quality employment and related training.

Since 2014, the campaign has seen more than 181 businesses pledge to recruit 604 apprentices as part of the council’s Apprenticeship Network with the annual awards celebrating the milestones of all involved.

Crowned the Apprentice of the Year was Samantha Smith who is part of Screed Force and is working on the Havelock Estate regeneration project in Southall. Sam is a Southall local and has taken pride in helping to improve her neighbourhood. Her work as a dry lining apprentice has been described as ‘immaculate’ and she is pushing herself to be a role model for other women in the construction industry.

“I would like to encourage more women into construction and not to be put off by craft trades as there’s hundreds of roles for women in the industry,” Samantha said.

“Every day is different and I love working a construction site, seeing all the stages of the building process. My goal is to work my way up and progress into a managerial role.”

A highly-commended certificate was awarded to Sean Head, a construction apprentice at Lee Marley because the judging panel were immensely impressed with how much he has achieved. Sean has already won multiple competitions involving brickwork and has represented his college around the UK.

The Significant Achievement award which celebrates apprentices who make the ‘greatest journey’ to achieve success was presented to Fizza Afzal from Tudor Primary School, Southall. The learning and teachers support apprentice was the well-deserved winner demonstrating resilience and strength of character to continue learning despite numerous life setbacks.

Hanover Building Services was announced Employer of the Year thanks to having a great philosophy and pro-active understanding of the need to recruit young people into the construction industry. The company carries out apprentice performance reviews and receives first-hand feedback from both the supervisor and apprentice to support mutual development.

The support provided by Hanover isn’t taken for granted by the apprentices as they often comment how they feel valued and trusted.

Supervisor of the Year was won by Bassam Mahfouz from A2Dominion, who is also the Ealing Council cabinet member for finance and leisure, while Victoria Pearce from Time Training Ltd was recognised as the Assessor of the Year.

Councillor Jasbir Anand, cabinet member for business and community services, said: “We’re committed as ever to enable people in the borough to get employment that pays a truly living income. As shown by the amazing Samantha Smith, not all apprentices need to be straight out of school or college. The award winners highlight the need to continue to learn new skills, gaining real world experience, at the same time as earning an income in the workplace.

“It’s inspiring to see local people, keen to get ahead in life, willing and able to take on new trades and professions. I’m so proud of the network of employers, trainers and supervisors who work to make this happen, and who come together each year to celebrate and reward all the hard work and effort that goes into ensuring our people can reach their full potential.”

For more details on the apprenticeship programme, visit www.ealing.gov.uk/apprenticeships or call 020 8825 6234.

Also, if you are unemployed, living in the borough and more than 18 years old, WEST could help you. The scheme has helped more than 100 local people into jobs or training since it was set up by the council in 2015, with the support of the Mayor of London. Call 020 8825 9894 or email WEST@ealing.gov.uk for further information.

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