NHMF Awards 2022 - Apprentice of the Year Shortlist: Will Green
Will recently won the Inspiring Journey Award, impressing Exeter College with the story of his career change, which resulted in a personal letter from Kit Malthouse MP congratulating Will on his journey and achievements so far. Will was also recently highly commended at a Direct Works awards ceremony after being shortlisted down to the last three apprentices.
Training provider: Weymouth College
Employer: Aster Group (Jess Scull)
Will has recently been supporting the Voids Team, during a period of higher workload and team sickness. He is undertaking void surveys when a property becomes vacant, which is completed on a tablet, a skill he picked up within days and the team benefitted quickly from the support he provided.
After joining, Will was the first to volunteer to be involved in a video recording, where he answered questions at Bradford Building Supplies tool event, where the newest apprentices were gifted new tools and a toolbox in their initial weeks of joining.
Why this apprentice should be Apprentice of the Year? What makes this apprentice stand out?
Since joining Aster in August 2019 as an Apprentice Carpenter, Will’s enthusiasm and passion has been clear to see, nothing is too much trouble and he goes out of his way to learn new ways of working as well as showing great ability to work with customers, putting them at ease. Will was the first to volunteer to be involved in a video recording, showing him answering questions at Bradford Building Supplies tool event, where the newest apprentices were gifted new tools and a toolbox in their initial weeks of joining, again, showing his ability to engage and be part of the bigger picture.
He recently won the Inspiring Journey Award, impressing Exeter College with the story of his career change in his early 30s (from a career in finance to pursue his dream of being a fully qualified carpenter in order to do what he loves as a career) and resulted in a personal letter from Kit Malthouse MP congratulating Will on his journey and achievements so far. Will has also been recently highly commended for his apprenticeship journey at a Direct Works awards ceremony after being shortlisted down to the last 3.
He has been supporting the Voids Team, during a period of higher workload and team sickness, undertaking void surveys when properties become vacant, which is completed on a tablet. He picked up this new skill within days and the team benefitted quickly from the support he provided. The next progression for Will, is to enrol for the HNC in Building Studies so that he can work towards a Surveying qualification.
An example where this apprentice has shown commitment to learning at college and another where they've shown commitment to learning in the workplace.
Will had been completing his portfolio even during furlough and uncertain times as he wanted to stay on top of his qualification as much possible even with the college closed due to Covid.
Will goes above and beyond to learn more at work than expected including volunteering to take part in extra courses such as a 3-day customer service pilot training scheme (he was the only apprentice to be involved).
Will requested time with the voids and surveying team to learn the processes behind void property surveying and refurbishment to give him a much broader understanding of the business and why his works are so important in maintaining the properties to a great standard. This has meant him going out to properties on his own and scheduling works that are fed back to the void team via the tablet for them to complete.
A scenario, where this apprentice applied the knowledge, skills and behaviours they've learned, and how they did this
Will has been surveying various properties using the skills and knowledge he has gained with Aster to determine the materials, quantities and time needed to renovate void properties ready for new tenants, giving them somewhere to call home. He orders all of the materials and coordinated the deliveries in line with the trades on site ensuring a smooth process from start to finish. Will initially covered sickness within the team, however within days the team had confidence that he could oversee the voids work with the minimum of fuss. In what could have been a difficult and expensive time for the business if voids stood still, Will stepped up to the plate and moved the vacant properties forward in order to turn them around for new customers.
What evidence shows this apprentice takes Health & Safety and Compliance seriously?
Will is always in clean, correct uniform with up-to-date and relevant PPE for his role ensuring he safely carries out his work, including government approved COVID masks and hand sanitiser. He is on top of his toolbox training and company policies, such as safeguarding and environmental management systems. Will carries out both COVID and dynamic risk assessments before entering any properties. Additionally, he has completed a driving safety lesson with Aster’s transport manager, and attended both asbestos and health & safety classroom training.
Apprentice's top three relevant personal qualities.
- Empathetic: Will has a great listening ear when it comes to customers, understanding their needs from the point of contact and ensuring they feel safe and secure whilst he works in their property
- Shows initiative: Will often has gone out of his way to resolve a challenge himself, he asks the right questions and is not afraid to speak up
- Passionate: Will is clearly passionate about his role and the works he completes; his standards are second to none with nothing being too much for him
How has this apprentice shown commitment to their own personal development and progression?
Ever since joining, Will has shown commitment and initiative in his personal development and progression. For example, he asked to work on the kitchens team and then on voids to pursue interests in surveying. He has also expressed his interests in fire door training and locksmithing to further his carpentry skills. Since he felt that he could achieve and learn much more, he asked how he could gain more experience, this in turn led him to be involved with other teams and new opportunities. Aster is incredibly proud of the hard work and commitment Will consistently shows. As highlighted before, Will had been completing his portfolio works even during furlough and uncertain times as he wanted to stay on top of his qualification as much possible even with the college closed due to Covid.
To date, Will has achieved:
- NVQ level 1 and 2 site carpentry, with additional training and experience in fire doors and locksmithing as well as installing kitchens from start to finish with the kitchens team. He has carried out internal/external property surveying with correct excel spreadsheets, documentation and terminology for gas/electric meter reading across properties.
- 3-day Customer service training with ‘The institute of customer service’ covering topics including confrontation and wellbeing.
- Classroom based 1-day Asbestos awareness training and 1 day Health and safety training.
- Toolbox talks/training - safeguarding, diversity & equality, GDPR, fire and electrical safety, waste disposal, environmental awareness, safe driving, hazard awareness, lone working/personal safety, customer service, mental health and well-being
- Additional vehicle/van driving safety delivered by Aster’s transport manager. Aster use a vehicle-based telematics system that monitors the movement, speed, braking and cornering of all company vehicles and the manner in which those vehicles are driven by its trade colleagues who drive one of those vehicles for business purposes. The primary objective of the system is to reduce road traffic incidents involving an Aster vehicle and colleagues so as to keep them safe. The system produces data at an individual driver and vehicle level and also at a business level. This allows Aster to monitor, analyse and proactively use the data to raise awareness at the driver and management level of individual and consolidated risks from driving at work. Will is showing 98/100 for driving skills, which highlights again his ability to proactively take control and be responsible.
How has this apprentice inspired others?
As an ambassador to its Apprentice Project, Will is a great role model to all its new recruits. He is passionate about everybody having a safe home to live in, he always does everything he can to ensure the best work is carried out in every property he attends and with an understanding that all our customers have their own needs.
Will explained that he had been able to share his experience so far with others and support students on his course during their NVQ, as well as support applicants looking to start an apprenticeship with Aster via its apprenticeship open day. At its apprentice trade recruitment centre for the potential new 2021 cohort, Will joined the day, where he had the opportunity to answer apprentices’ questions about his journey, the good bits, the learning curves and what his plans were for the future. He was incredibly warm and gave all the potential candidates a chance to talk and be involved. We see Will as an ambassador for all the new Apprentices, somebody they can look up to.
Neil Shardlow, Head of Operations for Dorset, Somerset, Devon & Cornwall commented “I hear of the tremendous work Will is doing and his super attitude, Will volunteered to paint and decorate Park District Community Centre in Weymouth. The centre is a popular hub used for a range of community activities including toddler’s clubs, table tennis and chess groups. Will is an ambassador to other apprentices out there, he shows maturity beyond his years and always wants to learn and do well, which is evident in the number of plaudits he already has around the business.”
How does this apprentice contribute to the vision and goals of your organisation?
Will is passionate about everybody having a safe home to live in, he always does everything he can to ensure the best work is carried out in every property he attends and understanding that all customers have their own needs. Some are vulnerable, some need extra support and others really value the time operatives spend in their homes. Will ensures the customer is left satisfied while reporting any other issues the customer may have with the property to provide an all-round good customer experience. In uncertain times in terms of recruitment, Aster see future Apprenticeships as the way forward when it comes to work force planning and recruitment, where it can provide a supportive programme to help apprentices their work and attend college etc. As an ambassador to its Apprentice Project, Will is a great role model to all our new recruits. Aster is incredibly proud of Will and his consistency to be the best he can be.
In his early 30s, Will switched from a career in finance to pursue his dream of being a fully qualified carpenter in order to do what he loves as a career. His successful application to Aster’s Apprentice Project, where he was invited to an Apprentice Selection Day, followed by a second interview, demonstrated to the team that Will had great potential. He explained he wanted to change his career to a field that was going to challenge him in new ways, while being able to learn progressive skills from professionals in a supportive and diverse environment.