Mayor congratulates 60 young apprentices

London Legacy Development Corporation

Apprentices working on the transformation of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are recognised for their hard work at City Hall Awards event

More than 60 apprentices have been honoured for their hard work in transforming Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at an awards ceremony at City Hall on Wednesday 18 December 2013. London’s largest group of apprentices on a single site were applauded for their accomplishments at the London Legacy Development Corporation’s inaugural Apprentice Awards.

Close to 200 people attended the event to see the awards presentation which was preceded by a special video message from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and followed by a rendition of ‘Legacy’, a poem written and performed by Jolade Olunsanya, who was shortlisted for the Young Poet Laureate for London.

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Apprentice of the Year 2013 was awarded to Leanne Doig who also received a special recognition for her commitment to health and safety. Twenty-one year old Leanne from LB Newham has worked as a Trainee Construction Operative Apprentice hosted by BAM Nuttall Ltd since December 2012 on a number of projects including the Lee Valley VeloPark and Timber Lodge Café. Described as an enthusiastic and committed member of the team by her colleagues, Leanne is known for her punctuality, zest for learning and willingness to get stuck in. Leanne has also been a strong advocate for apprenticeships and helped to raise the profile of women seeking to start a career in construction.

The Mayor has made apprenticeships a top priority with over 130,000 places already created and a target to provide 250,000 in the city by the end of the 2016 academic year.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Apprenticeships offer a fantastic foot up onto the ladder of career success and it is really inspiring to see what the apprentices on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park have achieved. This talented group of young people are helping to shape the future of this famous site whilst equipping themselves with new skills to make their future prospects brighter. I am pleased to pass on my congratulations and thanks to this dedicated bunch and I hope they serve as an inspiration for even more employers to sign up and provide even more of these placements.”

Leanne Doig, winner of the Apprentice of the Year Award, said: “Winning this award means so much to me. What you put in, is what you get out. I’ve wanted to work in construction ever since I was little, just like my dad, and he’s really proud that I’ve had the chance to work on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. My apprenticeship is just the start of my career. I want to run my own business one day and hire lots of women, because we need more women in construction.”

Other successes on the night included 25 year old Damien Ganesh from LB Tower Hamlets, a Trainee Construction Operative Apprentice hosted by BAM Nuttall Ltd who won the Apprenticeship Award for Excellence in Health and Safety due to his vigilant approach to risk management. Special recognition runners up included Samir Abarak, from LB Greenwich for both his excellence in health and safety and the consistently high standard of work he has achieved and Jamil Ahmed, from LB Tower Hamlets for the comprehensive project support he has provided over the last 12 months.

Neale Coleman, Deputy Chair of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a fantastic new destination in the heart of east London and we are thrilled that so many people from the local area have been able to contribute to its transformation. You only have to take a walk through the beautifully landscaped parklands to witness the hard work and dedication of our apprentices and their employers. We are delighted to honour them for their commitment to transforming the Park and we hope that the Park’s apprentice programme has given these young people the opportunities to continue to build successful careers.”

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 uses an Apprenticeship Training Agency model on site, delivered by K10, 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.

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