Last year’s winner Brett Barlow (pictured), from Wakefield, is a few months away from completing his apprenticeship with Chevin Housing Association, a member of the Together Housing Group, and is currently working with its Handy Man service, visiting vulnerable adults in their homes. He said, ‘I still can’t believe I won! The recognition has given me some really great opportunities – my old school has asked me to come in and talk to the students about apprenticeships and how they can get into the construction industry. I have already been telling all my friends that they should be doing apprenticeships, so I’m really enjoying spreading the word. I wasn’t sure about joining an apprentice scheme at first and almost turned this one down, so I am really keen to make sure other young people understand everything they offer.
‘I would definitely recommend entering the awards. The prize was absolutely brilliant – I got £1,000 worth of tools, as well as a £500 cheque. I’m really pleased to have my own toolkit, which is especially useful in my current handy man role. I’m 100 per cent more confident since winning the award and can’t stop smiling. I’m really looking forward to continuing the hard work and hopefully getting a full time job once I finish.’
Brett was nominated for the award by Christine Eccles, senior skills and enterprise officer at Together Housing, who said, ‘Brett stood out to me right from the start of the hiring process – he’s got such a friendly, helpful attitude. It was brilliant to be able to recognise his hard work and it has got even better since he won – his confidence has really improved, which is lovely to see!’
The 2015 Young Builder of the Year Awards are now open and seeking applications from two categories:-
• 14 to 16 year olds still in education
• 16 to 24 year olds in employment or training
The closing date for entries is Friday 31st July 2015. Judging will take place in August and the 20 finalists will be invited to the Awards Ceremony at the House of Commons on Thursday 15th October 2015, where the winners will be announced. There is an overall prize fund of £7,500, with the winner receiving £1,500 in cash and tools. All finalists will receive a prize and end the day with a trip on the London Eye.
For further information visit: www.ybuk.org