A construction apprentice from the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) has been hailed as the best in the Berkeley Group.
Huseyin Bozdogan scooped the Best Apprentice within the Berkeley Group at the company’s annual Apprentice Awards at a ceremony on 10 October.
The 28-year-old is completing an Apprenticeship in Dry Lining with the construction group, which currently builds 10% of London’s private and affordable housing.
Huseyin was described by his supervisors as “the best apprentice they’ve ever seen” and has been offered a job with the group when he finishes his training next year.
He was presented with his award by Alison Dowsett, Managing Director of St William, a regeneration project between Berkeley and National Grid.
“This award means a lot. It’s great to know that my hard work and dedication has paid off and it’s been recognised,” said Huseyin.
“I gained some experience with my uncle who works in the trade, doing some extensions and roof work, and had been looking for an apprenticeship.
“When this opportunity came up I was really pleased. I’ve been getting new skills, a qualification and paid at the same time.
“The training has been very good. I am learning things in the workshop all the time and my tutor is always giving me advice.”
Nine awards were presented at the ceremony held at Pennington Street Warehouse in London Dock, Wapping, where the special guest was Joseph Valente, the 2015 winner of BBC TV show The Apprentice.
The winners were chosen from 120 submissions by a panel of representatives from the Construction Youth Trust, Greater London Authority, Hackney Council and the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
Recalling his own vocational training, Mr Valente said: “My apprenticeship was the beginning of an exciting journey that contributed to success in life and business.
“It’s vital that we raise the profile of apprenticeships as a worthwhile and rewarding career choice for young people to consider seriously.”
CONEL works with many big name employers to offer a wide range of construction apprenticeships in brickwork, carpentry plumbing, electrical installations, property maintenance, dry lining, painting and decoration.
Berkeley had 783 apprentices at its sites and offices over the last 18 months and has pledged to have 1,500 more people in apprenticeships and training by 2018.
The company is keen to work even closer with colleges to increase skilled labour in the industry with 400,000 workers set to retire over the next 10 years.
Rob Perrins, Chief Executive of the Berkeley Group, said: “We need the right courses, in the right places, delivered by talented teachers given real support by employers who offer genuinely useful work experience.”