GRAHAM apprentice named one UK’s best

A GRAHAM apprentice, who came to the UK from Afghanistan as a refugee and waited outside a construction site to try and get a job, has been shortlisted for a top national apprenticeship award.

Shams Rahimi has been named as one of 12 finalists at the CITB Apprenticeship Awards and is set to travel to London for the event on 1 November.

GRAHAM apprentice named one UK’s best

Shams Rahimi

The awards celebrate apprentices from all trades across Scotland, England and Wales, to showcase achievements made while gaining their qualifications.

Shams, who is currently working as a trainee engineer at GRAHAM Scotway House student accommodation project in Partick, has been an apprentice engineer for nearly three years and was nominated for the award by his colleagues.

Shams moved alone to the UK as a refugee in 2011 at the age of 17, when he couldn’t take life in Afghanistan any longer.

After watching a documentary on the construction industry, he walked from his accommodation in the Gorbals to a GRAHAM site at Govan Underground Station and waited until there was a manager on-site to ask for an interview. 

Having never been employed before, he had to rely on a CV made up of personal information rather than a job history, however managed to impress interviewers with his enthusiasm to learn.

Shams is now studying an Undergraduate Degree (Hons) in Civil Engineering at Heriot Watt University through the new Graduate Apprenticeship Scheme. This scheme is supported by GRAHAM and gives company employees the opportunity to gain higher education through the workplace.

Earlier this year Shams was also nominated for the Skills Development Scotland Award as Modern Apprentice of the Year.

Shams said: “I’m really grateful to be shortlisted at the CITB Apprenticeship Awards, it’s great to be named as one of 12 apprentices across the UK – I can’t quite believe it.

“Before I started at GRAHAM I didn’t have any construction experience but through working on site and learning from experienced colleagues, I’ve picked it up fast and enjoyed my time within the company.

“The hands-on experience that an apprenticeship offers has really allowed me to develop skills and training that has enhanced my university studies. It’s also helped me to grow in confidence within a working environment and build on relationships which will support my future at GRAHAM.”

Bob Kenney, site manager at GRAHAM, said: “A massive well done to Shams on the CITB Apprenticeship Awards. To be named one of the 12 best apprentices across the UK is quite an accomplishment and we wish him all the best on the night.

“Shams has taken full advantage of every opportunity available to him and has worked extremely hard to get where he is today.

“He sets a great example to all future apprentices and we are honoured to be able to celebrate his successes with him.”

GRAHAM is a member of the ‘5% Club’; an organisation consisting of companies committed to ensuring 5% of their workforce over the next five years is comprised of young people on structured learning schemes.

The construction company has its own GRAHAM Academy, giving young people the chance to gain experience and qualifications within the construction industry through apprenticeships, industry and graduate placements. To date GRAHAM has managed over 150 apprenticeships.

Share icon
Share this article: