City of Wolverhampton Council's James Foster has been shortlisted for the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Apprentice of the Year award in the Midland area.

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The Private Sector Housing Customer Services Apprentice from Bilston will discover if he has won at the regional event, at the National Motorcycle Museum on Thursday 22 October.

The 18 year old landed the apprenticeship with the council in October 2014 after finishing sixth form at St Thomas More Catholic School, Willenhall.

The nomination is based on his relationship with his team, case studies, how he has improved, areas where he has contributed, and projects he has led on.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, added: "Improving skills among the young people in our city is crucial to our economic regeneration.

"James is a shining example of what can be achieved through apprenticeships and he has clearly become a valued member of his team.

"He fully justifies his nomination and fingers crossed he scoops the award."

James is set to complete his NVQ level 3 in Customer Services in the coming year having already got the level 2 qualification under his belt.

In the field, he has taken the lead on a number of projects, including the use of IDOX software, a landlords' blog and IT issues.

He has impressed so much, funding has been identified for him to remain with the council for another year.

Chris Hale, Head of Housing, said: "Over the last year James has been with us he has blossomed from being a shy young man into a confident and capable officer.

"His communication and social skills have developed to enable him to deal with vulnerable clients including the elderly, those with serious health problems, the very young, and people with intellectual and other development disabilities.

"He is comfortable communicating with contractors, councillors and senior officers - not only attending meetings, but taking part and offering a view if needed."

  • released: Tuesday 20 October, 2015