North East apprentices receive top awards
Published by Kelly Elliott for Frank Haslam Milan in Housing and also in Communities
l-r Daniel Churchill (FHM Apprentice of the Year runner up), Stephen McCoy (FHM North East Managing Director) and Lee Emery (FHM Apprentice of the Year winner).
An apprentice joiner who followed in his father’s footsteps to work in the construction industry has been named as his company’s Apprentice of the Year.
Lee Emery joined community regeneration specialists Frank Haslam Milan (FHM) North East straight from school in 2009 and quickly gained a reputation as a hard worker and a quick learner.
Now the 19-year-old has been named as FHM North East’s top apprentice, picking up a cheque for £100 from the firm’s managing director Stephen McCoy during a special ceremony.
Nobody is more pleased for Lee than his dad Bob, who also works for South Tyneside-based FHM as a labourer and said: “He’s a good lad and a hard worker and I’m chuffed to bits that he’s been given this award – he deserves it.”
Now in the third year of his apprenticeship, Lee has impressed FHM staff with his hard work and enthusiasm.
During last winter’s heavy snowfall and sub-zero conditions he maintained a 100% attendance record, despite having to travel almost 40 miles from his home in Shotton Colliery, Co. Durham, to work onsite in Morpeth, Northumberland.
His first site manager Ian Stephenson said: “Lee worked for me when he first started his apprenticeship when he was just 16 and despite his age he had a good attitude towards work and a willingness to learn.
“His eagerness meant he sailed through the requirements he needed for his apprenticeship and also picked up useful additional skills to use onsite.”
Another of Lee’s site managers, IanTowers, said: “It was obvious straight away that Lee was clever and he would only need to be shown a task once before he would be confident enough to do it himself.
“This was evident when Lee moved from a new build to a refurbishment site – the nature of the work is entirely different and I would generally expect any tradesman to take a few weeks to find his feet, however, Lee took next to no time.”
Lee is currently part of a small team carrying out major improvement works in Pegswood, Morpeth, on behalf of social landlord Isos Housing.
He is the only joiner on the team, which is very unusual for an apprentice and a sign of the confidence placed in his ability by FHM.
He was joined at the award ceremony by fellow apprentice Daniel Churchill, aged 20, who was named Apprentice of the Year runner up.
On handing out the accolades, FHM North East managing director Stephen McCoy said: “Apprentices play an important role within our company and Lee and Daniel are both exceptional young men and real assets to our organisation.
“They are popular with colleagues and clients alike and have impressed everyone with their enthusiasm and hard work – they both have very bright futures with FHM and we look forward to their continued development within the company.”
FHM North East is part of the Keepmoat Group. Other Keepmoat Group companies include Keepmoat Homes, Keepmoat Site Services and Milnerbuild.
Lee will now go forward to represent FHM at the Keepmoat Group Awards.
He said: “I’m really pleased to have been given this award. I’ve always wanted to work in this industry, especially seeing my dad doing it while I was growing up.
“For me it’s a dream job and I just feel lucky to be doing something I enjoy so much.”
Andy Kennedy, support services manager for Isos, said: “It’s great to see apprentices like Lee getting their first step on the career ladder through an Isos project.
“We are committed to the communities where we work, which means providing high quality homes, but also supporting those living and working in those communities.”