Fortem apprentice Shaheeb Mohammed has been named Construction Apprentice of the year at the Asian Apprenticeship awards.

The national award event, held in Birmingham, celebrated talented young British Asians, their employers and learning providers from across the UK. From over 300 nominations, awards were presented in eight sector categories, two employer categories and the overall Learning Provider of the Year.

Shaheeb had not been intending to follow an apprenticeship. He embarked on a Level 2 Electrical Engineering academic course in Rotherham and volunteered to work two days with local property services company Fortem to gain invaluable experience. His enthusiasm so impressed Fortem that they offered him a plumbing apprenticeship.

“I jumped at this opportunity,” said Shaheeb. “I had come to value having hands-on work running alongside formal learning, and an apprenticeship brought both elements together in a way that really appealed to me. I was also lucky in having a father who saw the merits in an apprenticeship and didn’t try to push me down the university route as some Asian parents do.”

Shaheeb has had support throughout from his training provider JTL, which was named as Learning Provider of the Year, and Doncaster College, who provided the technical skills training.

“All apprentices have a steep learning curve, but Shaheeb impressed me from the start with the effort he put into achieving good practical and academic results,” said JTL Training Officer Steve Myers. “You always look for that special blend of curiosity, dedication and hard work in the ideal apprentice, and Shaheeb has all those qualities in equal measure. That’s why he has done so well on the programme – and why he has been a pleasure to work with.”

Head Judge Olga Bottomley commented: “Shaheeb’s passion for his apprenticeship and his drive to make a difference really shone throughout his application. His determination to apply his knowledge and expertise for the clear benefit of his employer, his family and the communities he works in are commendable.

“Shabeeb is an excellent example of how apprentices can have a very positive and wide ranging impact on their organisation and I wish him well in his career.”