Ismail Nhg

07 Feb 2024

Setting young people on the path to success

As part of National Apprenticeship Week we sat down with 20-year-old Grahame Park resident Ismail to talk about his experience as a carpentry apprentice.

Throughout the regeneration of the Grahame Park estate, our regeneration social and economic investment programme, Make It Happen, is striving to provide young residents with the tools and skills to achieve fulfilling careers.

This week is the perfect time for us to showcase and celebrate our amazing apprentices, such as Ismail, a 20-year-old Grahame Park resident who is currently undertaking a Level 2 Carpentry apprenticeship with contractor Wates. 

Ismail volunteered for six months at The Loop, a recycling and re-purposing project based as The Concourse. The Make It Happen team recognised his tremendous work ethic, commitment and pride in his work and arranged with Wates to get him on-site experience. This was part of our partnership with Wates’ social value team, who help to deliver exciting opportunities for the community.  

Wates’ social value manager Ria Morris said it has been a pleasure to support Ismail with work experience, which has now resulted in his apprenticeship in a trade of his choice. She said: “Ismail is an inspiring individual and we have no doubt he’ll have a great career.” 

Ismail said he saw the benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship despite feeling that his sixth form presented university as the only suitable destination following A-Levels. “Instead of just learning from a textbook, I find going to college and working on-site at the same time to be the most engaging way of learning for me,” he said. 

When young people finish education at 18 and are considering university, they now must also consider the high costs associated with university education, including the burden of large student debts to pay back. Ismail said being able to save while he learns and earns was a huge advantage for him: “It feels freeing. It is definitely a bonus that apprenticeships take away the risk that comes with tuition fees.” 

When asked what his advice to other young people in education would be – Ismail added: “Apprenticeships are a great option for high achievers, it's important to remember that university is not the only option.” 

We agree with Ismail - education and learning should be tailored to the needs of the individual, rather than a ‘catch all solution’. The key is to invest in educating young people about their options – including apprenticeships which encapsulate all the soft and hard skills relevant to the world of work. 

Another great story coming out of the Grahame Park regeneration is Daniel, who’s working as an apprentice in painting and decorating with Wates and subcontractor A&B Group Ltd. He was signed up to this apprenticeship through Make It Happen, alongside Shaw Trust who help break down barriers for people with disabilities to access specialist interventions as well as get into employment, apprenticeships, enterprise or training. Together we are working with Daniel towards his ‘in work support’, which will cover travel allowance and purchase of a laptop to aid his learning. 

The social and economic investment team are proud to be helping young people like Ismail and Daniel achieve their goals by helping them with educational opportunities and fulfilling careers. It is great to see them both thriving in their apprenticeships and we are all excited to see what the future holds for them.