A 31-year-old mother-of-three from Northolt has embraced a radical career change by leaving her role as a florist and accepting a plumbing apprenticeship at St George's Dickens Yard scheme in west London.
Candice Allvey is one of 40 apprentices being given the opportunity to work on St George developments. The residential developer, which is part of the Berkeley Group, is supporting apprentices across all disciplines as part of its commitment to delivering local employment and training opportunities. Each apprentice performs a trade on the St George site, with skills ranging from plumbing and electrical installation to administration and office support.
Allvey spoke positively on the opportunity to work so close to home: "After leaving floristry behind me, I went down a very different road of training to become a plumber. The contrast between industries is quite striking, but through on-going training, mentor reviews, and regular contact with my line manager, the transition has been made so much easier. I still enjoy arranging flowers from time to time, but knowing your way around water pipes has its own advantages too."
Madalitso Banda, a 19-year-old from nearby in Ealing Broadway, also works on the Dickens Yard development in a business administration apprenticeship role. Banda spoke on his opportunity to work so close to home: "Before this apprenticeship, I volunteered at TASHA Foundation over in Brentford, while attending West Thames College. Having the chance to enhance my skill set on a development that is only minutes from home has a great number of benefits, not only in terms of my career progression, but also giving back to the local community. I coordinate facility use and building management across the site. I also help direct telephone enquiries, greet office guests and schedule internal meetings."
Ian Dobie, Managing Director of St George West London, comments: "We are committed to providing opportunities for local people on our sites and to helping apprentices gain the valuable experience needed to learn their trade. National Apprenticeship Week is a wonderful initiative to recognise the wide range of training and employment avenues available for school-leavers and aspiring young professionals."
National Apprenticeship Week runs from March 3 to 7 and is organised by The National Apprenticeship Service, part of the Skills Funding Agency, to highlight the importance of apprenticeships to developing a proficient workforce.
Located in the heart of Ealing Town Centre, Dickens Yard is a mixed-use development that is helping to drive the regeneration of Ealing. The development will comprise 698 apartments, more than 100,000 sq. ft. of retail, restaurant and leisure space and three new public squares. 175 people are currently working on the construction site.
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About the Berkeley Group