How an apprenticeship can help you build your future

Promotional image to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

Promotional image to mark National Apprenticeship Week. - Credit: Newham Council

At the age of 18 Max Fedden can already fit kitchens, plumb, tile, plaster, paint and do carpentry.

This week as part of Newham’s Year of the Young Person we are focusing on young apprentices.

This is not just to encourage young people to consider this career route but it’s also an opportunity for employers to get involved, to learn about the process and benefits of taking on an apprentice, and how Newham Business & Enterprise team can support apprentices and employers.

To mark National Apprenticeship Week (February 8-14), we met up with Max, who is a second year apprentice with Newham Council and attends Building Crafts College, Stratford.

At the end of his apprenticeship he will become a Level 2 maintenance operative, with opportunities to gain more skills.

Max’s start wasn’t completely straightforward as he had some personal challenges while growing up and at one point he moved to Newham to stay with his grandparents for a while.

At the time he was enrolled in his course and working for a group he said were using him as cheap labour.

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From 5am to 7pm daily Max was digging trenches and filling skips – it was heavy and hard work with none of the skills development he was promised, so of course, he fell behind at college.

A friend of a friend told Max about multi-trade apprenticeships at Newham Council and he went through the process.

“It was a whole day of interviews but a fun experience where they tested my knowledge but I think they were really testing my willingness,” said Max. One and a half years later, he is living back home with his parents and is optimistic about his future.

He has learned more than he expected and can now fit kitchens, plumb, tile, plaster, paint and do carpentry. He says: “It’s been amazing so far and better pay than I was receiving in the last job.”

Max has also caught up with his Building Crafts College work and is clear and determined about his direction of travel. He is aiming for an engineering certificate in plumbing and gas.

Max summarises his experience by saying: “Everyone I’ve worked with here has encouraged and supported me to be the best I can be and my apprenticeship has not only taught me technical and work skills, but it has taught me a lot about myself.”

Council apprenticeships

Build the Future is the theme for 2021. David Frost, head of manufacturing and highways at Newham Council, says: “With over 1000, properties to maintain and one of the only boroughs that operates our own factories, kitchen and bathroom installations, building repairs, as well as gas and electric repairs, we recognised it’s important to invest in our workforce.

"We are offering apprenticeships with the aim to replace our trade operatives, who retire, and we pay the London Living Wage.”

To find out more, attend the Virtual Apprenticeship Fair, where you may also like to hear David speak at one of the planned sessions.

He will be sharing more information today, Tuesday, February 9 at 11am. Go to

Geoffrey Fowler, CEO and principal of London Design & Engineering, University Technical College, described Apprenticeship Week as a really busy time.

The college is keen to ensure that all students gain an insight into the world of work and explore different careers from a wide range of sectors so the college offers students virtual work experience, presentations, videos, activities and more, making the most of Apprenticeship Week.

What’s Happening & Opportunities

There are a wide variety of apprenticeships available to anyone 16 and over, from all backgrounds and abilities.

Apprenticeships have different entry requirements, all of which depend on the industry, job role and apprenticeship level available. You can find out more at the Virtual Apprenticeships Fair between February 8 and 14.

Join a webinar to meet a wide range of employers with live apprenticeship opportunities, meet current apprentices and learn about their journey, find out about pay, benefits and how to apply. To find out more go to

Interested in working in the cultural heritage sector? 

UCL Special Collections and Newham Heritage Month are working together to give 10 young people aged 18-24 a head start in building a career in the cultural heritage sector.

To find out more email: Applications close midnight February 12, 2021.

#Act 2 End FGM will be held today, February 9, 10am- noon.

What you must know about FGM, its health impact, the law and support available to survivors and victims. Book your place here.