We would like to thank all boroughs that submitted a nomination and congratulate all candidates that were nominated. The standard of entries was exceptionally high this year, and narrowing these down has not been an easy task. Each award will be announced on the London Councils Twitter account - @londoncouncils - at 12 noon on the following dates:
Monday 7 September - Best contribution by a new apprentice: Hayley Navarro, LB Westminster
Tuesday 8 September - Best progression by an apprentice: Nazifa Chowdhury, LB Croydon
Wednesday 9 September - Best apprentice working in the supply chain or in schools - Charlotte Hughes, LB Islington
Thursday 10 September - The Andy Scott award for best manager or mentor - Julia Cooke, LB Camden
Friday 11 September - Best work with the supply chain and local businesses to create new apprenticeships- LB Croydon
Monday 14 September - Apprentice of the Year - Joseph Huston-Mendy, LB Islington
1. Best contribution by a new apprentice - Hayley Navarro, LB Westminster
Hayley is integral to the administration of Connect Westminster. With team members seconded to the council’s COVID-19 response, Hayley has taken on more responsibility ensuring performance and delivery targets are met and compliance with project policies and procedures maintained.
Hayley is passionate about inclusion in the workplace. She is comfortable to challenge decisions that impede accessibility and wants to support the recruitment campaign so that through promotion, the council can access untapped talent and recruit a more diverse workforce.
2. Best progression by an apprentice - Nazifa Chowdhury, LB Croydon
Nazifa arrived at Croydon Council as a quiet 17-year-old and has developed into a confident and capable officer. She proactively carves out opportunities to speak directly to customers managing issues effectively and has challenged herself further by covering absences and managing her team on her own. Nazifa has delivered extraordinary presentations to Cabinet Members, The Economic Summit and to the LGA gaining great feedback, particularly in relation to equality. She has also encouraged new apprentices to stay focused, work hard and navigate corporate protocols.
3. Best apprentice working in the supply chain or in schools - Charlotte Hughes, LB Islington
Charlotte is a young mother of three children who dreamed of a total career change. She wanted to better her life for herself but even more, for her children. With this dream in mind, Charlotte tried to find a pathway into construction to become a Project Manager, but when she was told that she didn’t have the required experience or qualifications to be considered, she returned to education. She then looked for a route way into the sector and found the Islington Council’s introductory construction course for women. Charlotte was offered a work experience placement where she excelled, being offered a Management apprenticeship at its conclusion. Charlotte’s successful path makes her a great ambassador for more women to enter the sector, both in terms of reassuring employers, but also as a role model for other young mothers.
4. The Andy Scott award for best manager or mentor - Julia Cooke, LB Camden
Julia Cooke is an Organisational Development and Learning and Development Officer at Camden Council who has a pro-active, person-centred and empowering approach. She encourages apprentices to have the end goal in mind and stay focussed on three core things; completing the apprenticeship qualification, securing a permanent job and being successful. She develops individualised action plans with apprentices, working collaboratively with them to explore steps to achieve their goals. Julia adds ‘It’s about establishing what they want, what they must do, how I can help and identifying who else needs to get involved to bridge the gaps.’
5. Best work with the supply chain and local businesses to create new apprenticeships- LB Croydon
Croydon Council, in partnership with training providers and employers across the borough, delivered the hugely successful 100in100 apprenticeship campaign. Under the award winning ‘Choose Your Future Campaign’, the 100in100 campaign was a programme of activities which delivered quality information and guidance to residents seeking to become apprentices and offered support to businesses looking to recruit. Businesses from across the borough pledged to create new and exciting apprenticeship opportunities for residents of all ages and background for 100 working days from 5th August to 20th December 2019.
Residents that benefited from the campaign included a 16 year school leaver enrolling on a junior content apprenticeship and paid the London Living Wage and a more experienced resident returning to work after having a family and taking on a leadership and management apprenticeship in a challenging role within the council chamber.
6. Apprentice of the year - Joseph Huston-Mendy, LB Islington
In response to Covid-19, Joseph has gone above and beyond his usual duties. He volunteered to be redeployed to the Islington Distribution Centre to provide deliveries to food banks and vulnerable people across the borough. Within two weeks, he was promoted to Logistics Manager and shortly after, he was promoted again. Joseph adapted quickly and alongside the coordination of the centre is responsible for all operational staff. His leadership has resulted in the effective and increased delivery of both emergency food parcels and surplus food deliveries during a time when these provided a lifeline for some residents of Islington.
Cllr Georgia Gould, Deputy Chair of London Councils and Executive Member for Skills and Employment, said:
“This year marks 10 years since the first London Borough Apprenticeship Awards was held to celebrate the outstanding achievements of apprentices working for London boroughs and their supply chains.
“Over the past decade boroughs have led the way in creating meaningful apprenticeship opportunities, tripling the number of apprenticeships to 1,700 directly employed in the last financial year. This number increases to 3,693 when factoring in apprenticeships created in maintained schools, borough supply chains and through councils’ brokerage schemes.
“The London Borough Apprenticeship Awards highlights the diversity of apprentices across London in terms of professional sector, age and background and shines a spotlight on those individuals who have excelled in their chosen field of work and in giving back to London’s communities.
“The shortlist for this year’s awards acknowledges that this year in particular has been a real challenge for apprentices and those that support them working in all sectors. It is a huge privilege to recognise their hard work and impressive achievements. I look forward to announcing the winners in September.”