Town Hall apprentice wins coveted award for Outstanding Contribution

An Islington Council apprentice has had his hard work rewarded by winning a special award for making an “Outstanding Contribution” to the London Professional Apprenticeship (LPA) programme.

Arizona Jones, who works in the council’s HR department, received the award at a graduation ceremony for LPA apprentices – in which two other council apprentices graduated – hosted last week at London’s Science Museum, by the global accountancy firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC). 

Arizona joined Islington Council in summer 2014 as a HR recruitment apprentice. In June 2015 he progressed to the permanent role of HR Recruitment Officer and now manages recruitment campaigns and provides guidance to managers on recruitment issues.

During this time he has worked tirelessly to promote the LPA scheme outside of the council at numerous roadshows and events, and convince often sceptical managers of the benefits of taking on an apprentice.

Arizona said: “To not only receive an award but to also receive recognition for my efforts was a priceless moment. My aim has always been to give it my best, throughout, so I hope this can be a testament that through persistence and endeavour comes appreciation and reward.”

“Becoming an apprentice at Islington was undoubtedly the most beneficial career move I have ever made. The training and experiences I have taken from my time at Islington have been invaluable to developing both my career and myself, as a person.”

Islington Council’s executive member for economic and community development, Cllr Asima Shaikh, said: “Arizona’s award is a fantastic achievement and very well deserved. Awards like these go a long way to helping to raise the profile and status of apprenticeships as a great alternative to higher education.”

Michael Kane, PwC Director who leads the LPA, and hosted the graduation event, said: “It’s fantastic to be celebrating the achievements of so many young people. The LPA programme has succeeded in attracting the next generation of business people and help them create the business networks to succeed. We’ve had tremendous feedback from employers and apprentices alike, who have benefitted from the additional training and mentoring provided. The LPA really challenges traditional perceptions of who can access career opportunities in London and is based on people’s potential to learn and employer’s enthusiasm to grow their business.”  

Notes to editors

The LPA, developed by education and skills specialists from PwC, is designed to address the needs of London’s employers and young people and to attract outstanding young Londoners into professional services roles. It includes training modules relevant to the capital, such as digital media, entrepreneurship and London's role in the UK and global economy. It also provides mentoring and networking opportunities that enhance their traditional apprenticeships. The model has been designed to be sustainable and applicable to other cities or regions.

Over 165 students who began the LPA have completed the programme and 84% are also on track to successfully complete of their apprenticeship (compared to 68.9% nationally).

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