TWO apprentices hired by South Tyneside Council are fired up for a bright future after receiving national recognition.
South Tyneside Homes, the council’s housing company, is proud of its record of employing young people through its apprenticeship scheme, and regularly makes submissions for awards that recognise their achievements.
Now Karim Sultan, 22, a newly-qualified plumber-gas fitter in the property services section, has taken first prize for the Male Mechanical and Electrical Apprentice category in the APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) Local Authority Apprentice and Trainee Awards, held recently in Leicestershire.
Those nominated for the scheme have to submit a portfolio which includes a 500-word personal statement, work diaries, photographs, references and a record of achievement.
Mr Sultan said: “I am very pleased and proud to have won. It has been a great achievement to complete my apprenticeship.”
He was recognised alongside plumbing-gas fitter apprentice Joe Hockings, 19, who was nominated to represent Gateshead College, which he attends as part of his training, for the annual Wilkinson Shield award, held on behalf of the Worshipful Institute Of Plumbers.
The competition is held every year between 13 colleges, and recognises the work of the most promising students in the trade.
This year’s event was held recently at the Royal Station Hotel in Newcastle. Although he didn’t win first prize Mr Hocking’s contribution was rewarded with a certificate, various tools, some high street vouchers, and books relevant to his trade.
He said: “I was very proud to be selected to represent the college and really enjoyed the presentation evening.”
Coun Jim Foreman, South Tyneside Council’s lead member for housing and transport and a board member of South Tyneside Homes, said: “The company has established a great reputation for training its apprentices to a very high standard in a variety of disciplines, and these young men have clearly excelled themselves.
“I wish them every success.”
Mr Sultan and Mr Hockings were congratulated by the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ernest Gibson – who especially invited them to South Shields Town Hall to talk about their apprenticeship accomplishments.