To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week apprentices and trainees across Riverside are sharing their stories about how working with us has transformed their lives. Today we meet Ryan Cook, an award-winning apprentice bricklayer.
In October 2015 Ryan was chosen from more than 100 nominees as the winner of the national Young Builder of the Year award, organised by Youthbuild UK, and presented at the House of Commons.23 year old Ryan works as part of the Compendium Living team on Hull City Council’s large-scale regeneration of the city’s Ings area. Compendium Living is the joint venture company owned by Riverside and Lovell Partnerships.
The Young Builder of the Year awards celebrate youngsters who have overcome barriers to work in construction. Ryan left school with no qualifications at the age of 16 and has since overcome problems with alcohol and drugs to build a new life and career. The young brickie, who lives in east Hull with his fiancee, was unemployed before joining Compendium Living’s constructor partner Lovell nearly 18 months ago, but wanted a construction career after working on building sites as a labourer
On receiving the award, Ryan said “I’m over the moon to win this award, in fact I’m still a bit shocked. I’ve been through a lot in the past and have worked hard to turn my life around. I’ve gone from having nothing to where I am now, learning a trade and working for a major national company.”
He went on to say “I love the job: you know that the brickwork is going to be the first part of the homes that are seen, so it’s really important that everything is exactly right. In the future, I would like to have my own company and offer apprenticeship training to people in the same position as I was in a few years ago.”
Compendium Living Project Co-ordinator Wendy Lister said: “As a regeneration specialist, Compendium Living shares the ethos of its two shareholders, Riverside and Lovell, in wanting to generate real employment and training opportunities for the communities where we work. To see someone like Ryan take hold of the opportunity, work hard to achieve success and then have that achievement recognised with a national award is so satisfying.”