Fortem Apprentice Shaheeb Mohammed has been named Construction Apprentice of the year at the Asian Apprenticeship awards.
The national award event was held in Birmingham last night and celebrated talented young British Asians, their employers and learning providers from across the UK. From over 300 nominations, awards were presented in 8 sector categories, 2 employer categories and the overall Learning Provider of the Year.
Mohammed had not been intending to follow an apprenticeship. He embarked on a Level 2 Electrical Engineering academic course in Rotherham and volunteered to work two days with local property services company Fortem to gain invaluable experience. His enthusiasm so impressed Fortem that they offered him a plumbing apprenticeship.
“I jumped at this opportunity,” says Mohammed. “I had come to value having hands-on work running alongside formal learning, and an apprenticeship brought both elements together in a way that really appealed to me. I was also lucky in having a father who saw the merits in an apprenticeship and didn’t try to push me down the university route as some Asian parents do.”
Mohammed has had support throughout from his training provider JTL, who were named as Learning Provider of the Year and Doncaster College, who provided the technical skills training.
“All apprentices have a steep learning curve, but Shaheeb impressed me from the start with the effort he put into achieving good practical and academic results,” says JTL Training Officer Steve Myers. “You always look for that special blend of curiosity, dedication and hard work in the ideal apprentice, and Shaheeb has all those qualities in equal measure. That’s why he has done so well on the programme – and why he has been a pleasure to work with.”
Steve also regards Mohammed as an outstanding representative of his own community. “He is someone who lives his values and is very generous in helping others understand his Muslim faith. He has given me a much greater understanding of his religious lifestyle and I know he will be a great role model for other young people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds who may not realise what an apprenticeship can offer them.”
Head Judge Olga Bottomley commented: “Shaheeb’s passion for his apprenticeship and his drive to make a difference really shone throughout his application. His determination to apply his knowledge and expertise for the clear benefit of his employer, his family and the communities he works in are commendable.
“Shabeeb is an excellent example of how apprentices can have a very positive and wide ranging impact on their organisation and I wish him well in his career.”
Isa Mutlib is the Awards Project Director. He commented: “The Awards was a spectacular event and really celebrated the brightest and best British Asian Apprentices and the commitment of their employers and learning providers.
“We hope we have encouraged more young British Asians to consider apprenticeships, and more employers to provide opportunities to benefit from the skills that apprentices bring.”
Nearly 500 people attended the event and Jasmine Kundra, from this year’s BBC The Apprentice line up, was the guest speaker. A learning and development professional, she is a firm champion of developing skills and spoke passionately about the need to empower individuals to learn, grow and widen their career horizons.