On 25th September 2018 we hosted the third annual Berkeley Group Apprentice Awards. There are some incredible people working in construction - people of all ages, backgrounds and experience.
Dylan is based at Royal Arsenal Riverside, and is working towards NVQ level 2 in plumbing and heating. Since starting his apprenticeship, Dylan has grown in confidence and now includes customer care in his duties. The role has given him the chance to grow in both his work and personal life, and he enjoys taking on new responsibilities. A very humble candidate, Dylan pointed out in his entry that he is far from fully learned, but looks forward to the future with Vital Energi and Berkeley.
Thomas, working for K.T. Electrics on Berkeley's East Broadacres development, is on his way to a level 3 in electrical installation. Having worked with a number of different electricians in his three years on site, Thomas has learnt from all of them and combines the best ways of working. He uses his initiative to make sure he is keeping the site safe - not just for himself but for others around him.
Thomas is very aware of the trades that come after him, and makes sure he leaves the plots tidy and ready. He is a hugely popular member of the team, and is highly respected by his managers.
John is a Junior Project Manager, working towards a Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship in Sustainable Built Environment. His role at Barretts of Aspley is one of the most diverse within the company, and requires him to have a thorough understanding of the complete business.
John is working with St George on Battersea Reach, on the design, installation and commercial management of structural steelwork and architectural metalwork contracts. He works closely with the teams to make sure they have the correct information for all details, and makes sure every element is delivered on time and to specifications. John has a problem solving attitude, and is always taking ownership of his responsibilities.
Liam is based at our Southall Waterside development, working with J A Stott Carpentry towards a NVQ level 2. He works closely with the experienced carpenters and uses their feedback to continuously improve. Liam is a keen learner who takes pride in taking his practical skills back to the coursework to excel in that too.
He is confident, and not afraid to speak up. On a task, Liam identified a technical problem and immediately raised this with his supervisor. Together they were able to rectify this, and avoid costly mistakes and unnecessary waste.
Akisam is working at our Southall Waterside development, and is a huge success story in himself. Before starting with FM Conway, Akisam found himself in a very difficult and harsh place, and decided he needed to make some real changes. Moving to London and successfully applying for an apprenticeship helped with his work situation but also improved his personal life.
He is now a valued member of his team, and has taken the initiative to start a mental health awareness campaign on site - helping mainly young people on site identifying symptoms of stress and depression. To achieve this whilst working towards his apprenticeship is testament to his attitude and drive, as well as his compassion.
Lee Marley Brickwork are working closely with several colleges to help make sure that the courses that are available to students are actually offering the skills the industry needs. They have introduced a series of 'apprentice days' at their offices, where managers present a mixture of theory and practical assessments to the apprentices.
The company recognises the importance of mentoring and monitoring, to make sure the apprentices learn and progress as they should. They also realise that to combat the skills shortage we need to tap into different talent pools, and have a modern approach to also reaching female apprentices.
Several of the directors at the company started as apprentices themselves, and the passion for continuing this success is apparent.
Defending their win from last year, Berkeley Homes (East Thames) once again takes the trophy.
Their school engagement is phenomenal, with nearly 200 work placements hosted in the past four years. They took part in Open Doors again in 2018, and are always eager to take part in events to promote construction as a career.
East Thames has sponsored a local secondary school to deliver an initial 10 week Design Engineer Construct programme, with the hope that from next year it will be delivered at GCSE level. Initiatives like these are instrumental in helping to change the sometimes outdated views of construction, and showing the industry as a modern and highly technological one.
Mariyana works as an Assistant Site Manager at our South Quay Plaza development. She is someone who realises that a happy apprentice is the best promotion for apprenticeships there are. Mariyana therefore organises regular reviews with all apprentices, making sure they are looked after and that the tasks they perform are educational and moves them ahead in their apprenticeship.
Realising the importance our contractors play in apprenticeships across the Berkeley Group, Mariyana is looking to implement a recognition scheme for contractors to raise awareness and to help smaller contractors also get the benefits of apprentices.
Ruby spoke at an event at the House of Commons earlier this summer, and someone said that they would like to bottle her enthusiasm to help promote apprenticeships! She is working on site and uses her adaptability when working with lots of different people every day, making sure she gets the best out of them all.
She is already a role model for others, being a site Sustainability Champion, and a case study for Considerate Constructors. Using her experience of being on site, Ruby is promoting her story to encourage more young women to consider a career in construction. This work comes through her roles as a Women in Construction Advocate; an Ambassador for YAAN and other networks where Ruby promotes apprenticeships and the changing image of construction.