Award winner Zak’s turning into champion of apprentices

IF you speak to Luton’s Zak Hussain on the subject of being an apprentice, his eyes sparkle with a genuine enthusiasm.

Wednesday, 15th February 2012, 9:00 am

The Farley Hill resident who picked up the Apprentice of the Year Award at the 2011 Rising Stars is in no doubt that he made the correct career choice.

“Some of my friends are at university on courses they don’t enjoy,” said Zak, who is working on the £16million Lealands School Building Schools for the Future redevelopment project with prospects for a great career.

Zak, pictured above receiving his award at the Rising Stars Bedfordshire and Luton Business Excellence Awards ceremony, works for construction giant Wates on its management training scheme.

As a part of its agreement on the Luton Building Schools for the Future project, Wates has taken on some 59 apprentices since October 2009.

Zak, who had spoken to family and friends about the value of apprenticeships, put his name on a website and was selected for interview.

Zak, who believes he has a career headstart over his university friends, is working to becoming a site manager. After then, perhaps his own business.

And, following the completion of his post-apprenticeship training he will also have the benefit of a BSc Honours degree in construction management.

“The sky is the limit, you can go for your dreams,” said Zak, who has even been out into local schools spreading the word about apprenticeships in the construction industry, which he believes is misunderstood.

“There is so much involved in construction which people don’t realise, from customer relations to marketing and management,” said Zak, who added that the apprenticeship helped him to see if the industry was right for him and now he’s not looking back.

> See Natalee Hazelwood’s video at