Olympic Park apprentice: ‘I didn’t dream I’d get a permanent job’
PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 October 2018
The achievements of apprentices working at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are set to be celebrated in a ceremony.
The East Works Awards, taking place on Thursday, November 1, highlights the efforts and endeavours of those working in a whole range of positions at the park.
For Lee Young, who was nominated for an award two years running, his job on the park came about after a two week work placement.
“I was hopeful when I started the placement that I’d make a good impression, but I didn’t dream I’d get a permanent job. I was so happy,” the 24-year-old said.
“After my two weeks work experience, my manager said there was a job waiting for me and told me to keep my uniform.”
Since starting off as an apprentice aged 19, Lee, from Canning Town, has worked his way up and is now a grounds maintenance operative.
He had struggled to get a job in horticulture despite studying the subject in college, as other employers wanted lots of qualificiations and a driving licence.
“But it wasn’t an issue here- they were more focused on me and my enthusiasm,” Lee added.
“Everyday I report in and we get assigned different roles, depending on what needs doing in the park and on the weather- turfing, looking after the beautiful plants - we were even gritting the park when we had the Beast from the East!”
He explained that his favourite part of the park was the north, saying: “It’s quiet and peaceful with lots of trees. My favourite trees are oak trees - there are lots in the north of the park.”
And as for his favourite job? “Anything that’s not weeding!”
Lee also encouraged anyone considering an apprenticeship to “just go for it”.
He added: “Don’t let anyone try and stop you- the world’s your oyster!”
The Newham Recorder will be attending this year’s East Works Awards. For full coverage of the ceremony, pick up the November 7 edition of the paper or visit newhamrecorder.co.uk