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2017 Berkeley Group Apprentice Awards Winners

On 10th October 2017 we hosted the second annual Berkeley Group Apprentice Awards. There are some incredible people working in construction - people of all ages, backgrounds and experience.

Find out more about the Awards

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Best Plumber Apprentice - Johanna Dorey, Briggs and Forrester

Johanna, who is working towards a Level 2 apprenticeship in plumbing at One Blackfriars is an impressive learner and already an effective and passionate advocate for bringing young women into the industry. Alongside her site duties and coursework, she helps to host student site visits, explaining the benefits and advantages apprenticeships have to offer. She has also given a motivational talk to a group of young women from the Moneypenny Foundation and continues to help promote the Southwark Construction Skills Centre which played a key role in helping her to break into the industry. 


Best Electrical Apprentice (and Best Overall Winner) - Aaron Brennan, Brenbar Electrical

Aaron, based at Royal Arsenal Riverside Phase Three and working towards a level 3 apprenticeship, has completed an impressive turnaround in his life and uses his experience to inspire others. After falling out of school and into the wrong crowd, Aaron took it upon himself to change his ways and find a career that would suit his ambition. He has worked as an apprentice electrician on various sites and has really shone under the guidance of Max Tullett at Brenbar Electrical. An extremely humble candidate, he has shown desire to learn and gratitude for the opportunities he has been given.

He is determined to continue his development, help others in the community to grow and learn, showcase his own talent and become the example for those who have come through adversity to succeed.

Aaron Brennan

Best Support Services Apprentice - Lauren Lakeman, Feldhaus

Lauren, based at Goodman's Fields and working towards a level 2 apprenticeship in business administration, admits she knew nothing about windows and facades before starting her role but has continually strived to learn more. Alongside her admin duties she has purposefully applied herself to site work and has established herself as a valuable team member. She is excellent at following protocol, inspires others to do the same and aspires to become a site manager.

Lauren has come a long way - expanding her knowledge of the construction industry and becoming a role model for women in an environment that has only just begun to change. She promotes apprenticeships to peers and has managed to inspire many of them to take on new roles. 


Best Interiors Apprentice - Alfie Boulden, Houston Cox

Alfie has just completed the first year of his carpentry and joinery apprenticeship and stands out for the exceptional level of skill he has developed at such an early stage in his career. He has a great grasp of the tasks involved in his trade, recently won the Skill Build competition for apprentices and has run workshops to promote apprenticeships outside of work.

He is an ambassador for apprentices in his own local community and even visits his old secondary school to give talks on construction as a career for school leavers. Talented and committed to the cause, Alfie has been tipped to go on to great things.

Alfie Boulden

Best Exteriors Apprentice - Jonathan Ajibade, Berkeley Homes, Central London

Jonathan, a directly employed Apprentice Site Manager working towards a Level Four Apprenticeship, is already a great asset to the site team and a big personality at West End Gate. He moved from the retail sector into construction but was unsure about which trade to pick up. Having completed a traineeship on site and displaying a hardworking and positive attitude, Jonathan was offered a site manager apprenticeship. He is the site sustainability champion and understands the importance of completing a job safely, sustainably and on time.

Jonathan believes that through passion, perseverance, determination and clear goals anything is possible and regularly shares this opinion with other apprentices and colleagues. He has become a great asset to Berkeley and a great example to those around him.


Best Subcontractor working with the Berkeley Group - Lucas Group

Lucas are showing real leadership within the industry, working directly with colleges to develop innovative apprenticeship course which blend relevant, valuable classroom learning with the practical site experience operatives need.  They have appointed a fully qualified training and apprenticeships manager to champion the process and The Lucas Centre of Excellence will become a satellite site for London South East Colleges (LSEC). The company also works closely with charity Bounce Back which focusses on the training and employment of ex-offenders.

Lucas Group

Best Operating Company within the Berkeley Group - Berkeley Homes (East Thames)

The company's engagement efforts stood out, including work with 20 primary schools and 28 secondary schools. They have also pioneered new pathways into the industry including sponsoring one school to provide construction skills lessons as part of the school curriculum and supporting a six week construction 'bootcamp' for 62 Greenwich residents, with 44 of them gaining an apprenticeship. They have provided 150 work experience placements, employed three Street Elite graduates, hosted two women in construction placements and employed two apprentice site managers.

East Thames

Best Apprentice Champion within the Berkeley Group - Irfan Ayub, Berkeley Homes, Capital

Irfan is a Street Elite graduate who completed an on-site apprenticeship and is now employed as Assistant Site Manager at Woodberry Down. He uses this experience to create a comfortable and encouraging support network for all new trainees on site, visiting everyone on a weekly basis to motivate and support. He is a passionate advocate for apprenticeships and the construction industry, actively encouraging subcontractors, peers and local members of the community to embrace all it has to offer.


Best Apprentice within the Berkeley Group -  Huseyin Bozdogan, Berkeley Homes, Capital

Huseyin, a drylining apprentice through the REACH programme, is described by his supervisors as 'the best apprentice they've ever seen' and has been offered a placement ahead of his course completion. Based at Woodberry Down, he is exceptionally hard working, reliable and always on time. His calm and supportive character came to the fore during an Outward Bound Trust hike (part of his REACH placement) when a team member was injured. Huseyin led the team back to safety over an eight hour return journey, showing real leadership under pressure.