East Dunbartonshire Council apprentice, Paul Don, has just scooped a top prize at the APSE National Apprentice of the Year Awards in his category.
Paul, a second year Construction Management apprentice, was up against fierce competition from throughout the UK, but his enthusiasm and accomplishments to date singled him out to make him this year’s winner in the Housing & Building (Professional Services) category.
Paul (21) from Bishopbriggs, was named Student of the Year whilst studying for his HNC in Building Services Engineering at North Glasgow College. Despite being offered two university places Paul decided to instead take on a four year apprenticeship at the Council and get into the world of work.
Since then Paul has been involved in a range of huge infrastructure projects including new schools, a community centre and much more in between. The skills and experience gathered during his time with the council enabled him to speak confidently and expertly in his award interview, impressing the judges with his commitment and obvious knowledge of his field.
He said, “I am over the moon and can’t quite believe that, with nominations from across the country, I made the shortlist and went on to win. I was nervous but had great support from my colleagues who were all willing me on. The reaction since I won has been amazing and I am just chuffed to bits for myself and my family who are all very proud.
“I have loved my first year at the Council and am convinced that in choosing an apprenticeship over the other options available to me, I have absolutely done the right thing.”
Council Leader Rhondda Geekie congratulated Paul on hearing of his win. She said, “I am absolutely thrilled for Paul. He is a remarkable young man who is so hard-working, enthusiastic and positive. This is a wonderful recognition for him and richly deserved. To win against UK-wide competition is an outstanding achievement. Well done Paul!”
Paul has an in-built determination to succeed despite the challenges he faces, having found out only a few years ago that he has Dyslexia.
He said, “After my diagnosis I was even more set on proving what I could do and took on challenges at school and college and achieved what I set out to do. I want to thank everyone at the Council who has supported me every day over the last year and helped me get this far.”