Berkeley Group announces its top apprentices

October 9, 2018 / Keith Osborne
Berkeley Group announces its top apprentices

At its recent annual apprentice awards event in central London, Berkeley Group has announced Akisam Mugezi as Best Overall Winner against some very strong candidates across a number of disciplines.

Winner of the Best Exteriors Apprentices category, Akisam works at Berkeley’s Southall Waterside development with subcontractor FM Conway. He was rewarded by the judging panel for his hard work and dedication to his role, as well as his success overcoming his own difficult personal circumstances and initiative in helping others onsite.

Berkeley Group chief executive Rob Perrins said: “These awards are a celebration of great vocational training and a chance to reward the hidden heroes who are taking the lead on construction skills. We want to recognise the exceptional talent coming into our industry and give apprentices like Akisam the credit they deserve. My sincere thanks and congratulations to all of the winners and nominees.”

Here’s the full list of winners at the Berkeley Group Apprentice Awards 2018:

Best Plumber Apprentice – Dylan Mallia, Vital Energi 

Dylan, based at Royal Arsenal Riverside, is working towards an NVQ level 2 in Plumbing and Heating. Since starting his apprenticeship, Dylan has grown in confidence and excels in customer care. The judges were impressed with his humble attitude and his dedication to mastering his trade.

Best Support Services Apprentice – John Cohen, Barretts of Aspley

John is a junior project manager, working towards a Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship in Sustainable Built Environment. Based at St George’s Battersea Reach development, he is working closely with his team to ensure every element is delivered on time and to specification. John impressed with his problem-solving attitude and through embracing his responsibilities.

Best Electrical Apprentice – Thomas Olliver-Boddington, K T Electrics

Thomas, working for K.T. Electrics on Berkeley’s East Broadacres development, is on his way to a Level 3 in Electrical Installation. Thomas has taken full advantage of his training, learning from several experienced electricians and combining their best ways of working. He uses his initiative, focuses on site safety and is careful to leave his plots well prepared for the trades that come after him. He is a popular and respected member of the team.

Best Interiors Apprentice – Liam Yilmaz, J A Stott Carpentry 

Liam is based at Southall Waterside, working with J A Stott Carpentry towards a NVQ Level 2. He works closely with experienced carpenters and uses their feedback to continuously improve. Liam is a keen learner who takes pride in his practical skills and is not afraid to speak up. His focuses and confidence has ensured technical issues are raised early eliminating potential waste.

Best Exteriors Apprentice and Best Overall Winner – Akisam Mugezi, FM Conway

Akisam is working at Southall Waterside with FM Conway. He has overcome difficult personal circumstances and made profound changes to his life over recent years. Upon moving to London, he dedicated himself to his apprenticeship and is now a valued member of his team. He wants to help others, and has taken the initiative to start a mental health awareness campaign on site – helping others to identify symptoms of stress and depression.

Best Subcontractor working with the Berkeley Group – Lee Marley Brickwork 

Lee Marley Brickwork are working closely with several colleges to improve apprenticeship curriculums and ensure students are being taught the skills industry needs. They have hosted a series of ‘apprentice days’ at their offices, where managers present a mixture of theory and practical assessments to trainees.

They are reaching out to attract more female candidates into construction and they lead by example, with several company directors having started as apprentices themselves.

Division with the Biggest Impact in the Berkeley Group – Berkeley Homes (East Thames) 

Defending their win from last year, Berkeley Homes (East Thames) impressed with their school engagement programmes which have seen nearly 200 work placements hosted in the past four years. They took part in Open Doors again in 2018, and have shown real commitment to promoting the industry.

Initiatives include sponsoring 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.

Best Industry Champion within the Berkeley Group – Mariyana Stoyanova, Berkeley Homes (Capital)

Mariyana works as an assistant site manager at South Quay Plaza. She organises regular reviews with all apprentices, making sure they are looked after and that the tasks they perform advance their learning.

Realising the vital role subcontractors play in apprenticeships across the Berkeley Group, Mariyana is looking to implement a recognition scheme to raise awareness and to help smaller contractors enjoy the benefits of apprentices.

Best Apprentice within the Berkeley Group – Ruby Lee, Berkeley Homes (East Thames) 

Ruby is already a role model for others, becoming a site Sustainability Champion and having been singled out as a positive case study by the Considerate Constructors Scheme. Ruby is dedicated to encouraging more young women to consider a career in construction; acting as a Women in Construction Advocate; an Ambassador for YAAN and other networks. Her energy and professionalism make her a respected and valued member of the team.

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