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National Recognition for Apprentice Shaun

Apprentice ShaunThe hard work of a talented apprentice working with leading homebuilder Barratt Homes, in conjunction with Central College Nottingham, has been recognised at a national award ceremony. Shaun Cowell, from Cotgrave, has been commended in the 16 to 24-year-old category at the 2015 Young Builder of the Year Awards, for his work at the company’s Hollygate Park development in Cotgrave and his commitment to his studies. The 24-year-old, who left school without any formal qualifications, is now putting his skills into practice at the Hollygate Park development, while studying towards an NVQ Level 3 qualification in Bricklaying with Central College.

The awards are organised by YouthBuild UK to celebrate the achievements of young people who have overcome personal barriers to train and work for the construction industry.

Shaun said:

“I really enjoyed the awards, it was a great day out and really interesting to see so many people from different backgrounds who have been helped by apprenticeships. It really showed how good they are at supporting young people.”

Shaun and other apprentices from companies across the country attended the awards ceremony at the House of Commons in London, enjoying dinner in the capital and ending the day with a ride on the London Eye.

John Dillon, Managing Director at Barratt Homes North Midlands, said:

“We’re all very proud of Shaun’s achievement and pleased that he has received the recognition he deserves for his continued hard work. Shaun is an excellent example of what can be achieved through an Apprenticeship with Barratt Homes.”

Terry Brickles, Head of School for Construction at Central College Nottingham, said:

“We nominated Shaun because he has been an excellent student. He is always asking great questions, far above the level expected on the course.”

Before joining Central College, Shaun had been struggling for the last five years to find the right path towards gaining meaningful employment.

Shaun said:

“I had applied for lots of jobs but felt I was mostly turned down because I am over 20 years old. I have a family to support and found it difficult to make ends meet. I saw a local flyer in the community centre window in Cotgrave, asking if people wanted to attend a Pre-Apprenticeship course at Central College.”

After completing the Pre-Apprenticeship, Shaun undertook a Level 2 Bricklaying course and then secured his position at Barratt Homes in August. Shaun said: “I passed everything on the Pre-Apprenticeship and it was the first course I have been on where I knew this was the job for me. With the help of Central College I was then selected by Barratt Homes for an interview and now I’m working there!”

Find out more about Apprenticeships with Central here.