Nottingham apprentice shortlisted for Young Builder of the Year Awards 2011
Michael Collins, a work experience apprentice from Nottingham - who attended The Prince’s Trust ‘Get into Construction’ programme - has been selected as a finalist in the Young Builder of the Year Awards 2011.
The national awards celebrate the achievements of young people who have overcome personal barriers to train and work for the construction industry.
Michael, aged 25, from Gotham just outside Nottingham, is one of 21 UK finalists shortlisted for the Young Builder award in the category for 16-25 year olds in training or employment. The winner is due to be announced at a ceremony in the House of Commons on 12 October.
Michael was brought-up by his mother, and seven siblings. Until recently, Michael, who left school at 16 with few GCSE’s, had worked in many different low-paid jobs from warehousing to flipping burgers. Michael also had four children to support. The pressure became intense and he felt that he was trapped, destined to never achieve his potential in employment and be able to support his family how he would like. Michael became very low. After spending some time on Job Seeker’s Allowance, Michael applied to an ad in a local newspaper for The Prince’s Trust ‘Get into Construction’ course even though he had never worked within the construction industry.
However, he was shortlisted for the Young Builder prize after he showed outstanding promise during the four weeks he spent doing work experience as part of youth charity The Prince’s Trust’s ‘Get into Construction’ course in May.
He was one of 15 unemployed 18-25 year olds on the programme, hosted by UPP and VINCI Construction UK, working on the student accommodation scheme at Nottingham Trent University’s Clifton Campus. Michael, along with the other young people, was given an insight into careers in the building industry and training in trades like plastering, carpentry, cladding, painting and decorating and bricklaying.
Following the programme, he gained full-time employment with RilMac Scaffolding and is now an apprentice scaffolder.
His new job is helping him support his now five children, but he will be given a further boost if he wins the Award as the prize is a cheque for £500 and £1,500 worth of building tools to help the winner with their career in the industry.
However, Michael is not the only success story of The Prince’s Trust ‘Get into Construction’ programme, which is now in its second year with UPP at Nottingham Trent. 13 of the 15 young people on the course have gone on to find secure, full-time employment or training. All young people on the course continue to receive six months support from The Prince’s Trust to help them further their careers, get into education or training.
Commenting on his shortlisting, Michael said: “The individuals on site from Rilmac, Vinci UK and The Prince’s Trust have really helped turn my life around. I am incredibly grateful to them and feel it is a privilege to be nominated for this award. My family are so proud.”
John O’Reilly, Regional Director of The Prince’s Trust in the East Midlands said: “Michael’s determination to turn his life around is incredible. He clearly demonstrates that it is possible for young people to break out of long-term unemployment, no matter what background they have had.
“The Prince’s Trust helped more than 4,200 young people in the East Midlands last year, giving them self-confidence, often for the first time in their lives. In these times of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever to support thousands more.”
UPP Chief Executive, and member of The Prince’s Trust Construction and Business Services Leadership Group, which helps to fund The Trust’s ‘Get into Construction’ course, Sean O’Shea said: “As the leading provider of student accommodation, UPP is committed to providing training for young people at our sites, and it’s fantastic that one of our work experience apprentices has been recognised.
“We’re delighted for Michael that the Young Builder of the Year Award has chosen to acknowledge his success by shortlisting him. I know everyone at UPP will be backing him to win the award and to go on to have a great future in the construction industry.”
VINCI Construction UK is the building contractor on the Nottingham Trent site and, Keith Shivers, Regional Director Building Division - North added: “This is a fantastic result for Michael and great recognition of his hard work. VINCI Construction UK is enormously proud to be part of this invaluable Prince’s Trust programme to help young people into work in the construction industry and Michael’s story proves that it really does work – with 13 out of the 15 apprentices already in work. We all wish Michael the very best of luck for the Award.