Last Updated: Friday, March 2, 2018

Celebrity Apprentice to Present at College Awards Ceremony

North Lindsey College are set to welcome Lord Sugar’s former apprentice onto campus for a special awards ceremony during National Apprenticeship Week.

Currently enjoying a place on the prestigious Forbes top 30 under 30 list, Joseph Valente will visit Scunthorpe for the first time as guest speaker at the college’s annual Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony.

“This is my first time at North Lindsey and I'm excited to see what the students are working towards, what goals they're setting and how they're smashing them,” says Joseph. “I know there has been a significant amount of investment in the area and I'm keen to see how this is supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Winning BBC show The Apprentice back in 2015, Joseph’s business ImpraGas has gone from strength-to-strength following his two years’ tenure and £250,00 investment from Lord Sugar.

The Scunthorpe college, who are the largest provider of apprenticeships in the region, will welcome a range of apprentices to the annual event. Which is a celebration of the achievements of local apprentices and the commitment demonstrated by the many local businesses who support them.

This year the awards have all been sponsored by SME and larger businesses in the region including British Steel Limited, Ongo Ltd, HITEK Electronic Materials Ltd, Jacobs, Schwarzkopf Professional, Britcon Ltd, Care Plus Group, The Willows Beauty Salon, G.S. Kelsey Ltd, Immingham Motors, Options Adult Autism Services, Imperial Commercials and Can Pack UK Ltd.

Award categories include Intermediate Apprentice of the Year, Higher Apprentice of the Year and Assessor of the Year, as well as Lifetime Apprentice of the Year.  With the college seeing a record number of nominations for awards this year covering a variety of sectors including engineering and hairdressing.

Joseph will take to the stage during the evening to talk about his experience to the assembled nominees, businesses, school representatives and local students.

“I'm passionate about giving young people the opportunities I worked hard to create for myself,” says Joseph.

“When I was growing up my only inspiration and link to the business world was my uncle who ran a successful business. I was expelled from school at 15 and found that the system had failed me on more than one level.  I just wasn't inspired.  I was lucky enough to be given an apprenticeship at a local plumbing firm after I offered to work for free for a year.  Seeing how much I wanted to succeed, the business owner took me on and I learned the trade whilst studying for my apprenticeship.

Once qualified I asked him for a raise but I didn't get it.  At the same time, my mum bought me a copy of Lord Sugar's autobiography and those two events were the pivotal points that inspired me to start my own business, ImpraGas.  Fast forward to 2015 and I won The Apprentice and gained Lord Sugar as a business partner.”

The focus of this year’s apprenticeship awards at North Lindsey College is all about passing on skills to the next generation, as a result the college wanted to invite someone along who had gone through the apprenticeship route at various stages in their career.

“In 2017 Lord Sugar and I parted company, under friendly terms, as I bought back his 50% equity stake.  I've since tripled the business turnover, increased our market coverage to over 50% of the UK and in January this year I was listed in the prestigious Forbes Europe Industry 30 Under 30.  It’s a fantastic accolade to be recognised for the hard work I’ve put into leading ImpraGas.”

The Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony will take place on Friday 9th March, in the Events Centre based on campus at North Lindsey College.

For further details, contact Emma Doyle in the Marketing Team on 01724 709309.

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