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MITIE crowns the Real Apprentice 2009

28 January 2009

Joint winners Gary Cupid and Abdul Razak were presented with their Real Apprentice 2009 awards and £500 vouchers each at a ceremony held at Morgan Stanley’s offices in Canary Wharf last week.

Over 100 guests including MITIE’s managers and clients, members of ELBA (East London Business Alliance), past apprentices and other Corporate Responsibility professionals to see the Awards handed out by Chief Executive of ELBA, Liam Kane and MITIE’s HR Director, Joanne Bacon.

The Real Apprentice is a best practice employer-led training programme run in conjunction with ELBA. It is currently open to everyone between the ages of 17-25 and takes away the barriers to employment faced by young people from disadvantaged areas in East London.

The apprentices are each given two weeks pre-placement training followed by ten weeks work experience on one of MITIE’s contracts. This could be learning about reprographics at PricewaterhouseCoopers, or getting to grips with the latest bird control techniques with our pest control business.

The winners were chosen from the 30 successful candidates who successfully completed the 12 week training course on MITIE’s London contracts. It was decided to give the award to joint winners this year after two individuals stood out from the rest:
Gary Cupid 25 from Hackney had just finished a media production degree at university and was unable to find a job when he learnt about the Real Apprentice scheme. After applying to the scheme through his local job centre, he was assigned to MITIE’s contract at Landflex working for the facilities management team. From day one Gary was eager to prove his worth and value to the organisation and set his own personal bar high to ensure that he reached his own and the MITIE’s objectives. Over the twelve weeks Gary achieved many victories and his self confidence grew enormously. He is now working full-time for MITIE as a Facilities Assistant on the Landflex contract.

Commenting on Gary, his Account Manager working for MITIE on the Landflex account said: “Gary should be very proud of his achievements. His behaviour and aptitude over the 12 weeks was not one of an apprentice but one of a professional Facilities Manager. I don’t know if Gary is the best real apprentice, but believe me if there is someone ahead of him, they must be a very rare person as Gary is a jewel that doesn’t come often in life.”

Abdul Razak (Raz) 26 from Tower Hamlets. Raz was previously working in retail and after signing up to the Real Apprentice scheme was placed at MITIE’s office in the Docklands. Raz was chosen as a winner as he was always upbeat, friendly and a complete joy to have in the team. He supported his management team with great efficiency and accuracy and they felt that they could completely rely on him due to his professionalism in the job. In fact they thought that Abdul was so good that he is now working full-time for MITIE as an operations administrator in the Docklands.

Abdul’s manager commented: “He is proactive and flexible and gets the job done. He is very organised and has created simple IT systems to effectively manage his workload. Abdul was always well presented, eager to learn and eager to adapt. Not only did he learn everything we asked him to, but he even showed his team how to do things differently. He wanted nothing more than to be given a chance and has worked so hard to make the most of his opportunity.”

Both Gary and Raz have since mentored other Real Apprentices in the October scheme and have been outstanding representatives for MITIE, their communities and the Real Apprentice scheme. They both have a bright future within the organisation. Abdul even entered MITIE’s national talent competition - MITIE’s Got Talent and his dance routine was chosen as one of the eight acts in the final of the competition, performing at MITIE’s annual management conference in September 2008.

Gary Cupid, one of the winners of the overall award said:
“For Raz and I to have won the Real Apprentice is a fantastic achievement. After 12 weeks working at MITIE, I have come such a long way and now have a career and a good idea of what I want to do in life. I am so grateful to MITIE and ELBA to have given me the chance to learn new skills and apply them in a business environment.”

Jane James, Employment Regeneration Director, MITIE added: “We had such a high calibre of apprentices this year, it was always going to be difficult to pick the winner but Gary and Abdul really shone through and both performed beyond all expectations. We are very proud of what they and all the apprentices have achieved. With unemployment on the rise schemes like the Real Apprentice are now more important than ever and I would encourage every company to adopt similar schemes top help in the regeneration of East London.”

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