Hard work of Newham apprentices celebrated at presentation

Volunteers and employers who worked on the Arc in the Park makeover with their certificates

Volunteers and employers who worked on the Arc in the Park makeover with their certificates - Credit: Archant

The valuable contribution of apprenticeships to the construction industry was acknowledged at a thank you showcase.

In a ceremony attended by more than 50 students, staff and employers, the Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, presented thank you certificates to everyone who worked on the Arc In The Park playground in Hermit Road, Canning Town, last month.

Twelve students from Newham joined skilled tradesmen on the scheme which was led by Vinci Facilities who, along with subcontractors, worked for free on the makeover.

Work included installing a new disabled shower and toilet and fitting a new fire alarm system.

Sir Robin said: “I am a great fan of people getting hands-on experience of construction.

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“Starting work and getting into work is critical. Training to build your skills is how you build a career and your future.

“I am a big fan of people skilling themselves up. That’s the way it should be, we are not doing it enough.”

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Project manager, Josephine O’Connor, from Vinci said: “Today showcases everybody’s achievements because without everybody’s contribution this could not have happened.

“This is that Dunkirk spirit that no longer exists in some communities, where if people ask you to give us a hand they don’t say what’s in it for me they say, Yes.”

Kevin Jenkins co-founder and life president of Community Links. added: “What’s great about this project is you have private and public workers coming together to develop a lasting legacy for the community.”

The crucial work of the centre was highlighted by regular visitor, 15-year-old Zack Bartlett, who has ADD and ADHD.

In the two years, Zack of Ravenscroft Road, Canning Town, has been visiting he has gone from a shy loner to a volunteer.

He said: “It’s an amazing thing what they have done to this place,” he said. “It feels more welcoming, cleaner, modern.

“It’s just going to give the kids a pleasant experience when they walk into the Arc.”

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