Graham apprentice bags two gongs at CITB Awards

Shams Rahimi

A young apprentice who arrived in Scotland as a refugee from Afghanistan has won two top accolades at the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Awards.

Glasgow-based Shams Rahimi, an apprentice with contractor Graham, scooped the ‘Scotland Apprentice of the Year Award’ as well as the ‘Scotland South Apprentice of the Year Award’ at the ceremony, which took place recently in London.

Having come to Scotland as a refugee, Shams visited a Graham site near where he was staying in Glasgow to ask for an interview. Having impressed management with his initiative and enthusiasm, Shams was offered a part-time role while at college. He was then offered a technical apprenticeship.

Shams is now studying an undergraduate degree in civil engineering at Heriot Watt University through the Graduate Apprenticeship Scheme. He is currently working at Graham’s Scotway House student accommodation project in Glasgow.

Commenting on his Success, Shams said, “I’m still in shock to have won both of these high-profile awards. The calibre of the other nominees was exceptional so to win both of these awards is a source of immense pride for me. I was just grateful to be nominated so I cannot quite believe it.

“Before starting at Graham, I didn’t have any construction experience, but the company had faith in me and I am determined to make a positive contribution to its continued success. The Graham apprenticeship has provided me with hands on experience, from working on site and then gaining valuable knowledge and insights from my experienced colleagues.”

Shams added, “I feel it has really enhanced my career development. It has also helped me to grow in confidence professionally and personally. I am grateful to Graham and all of my colleagues for their ongoing support.”

Gary Holmes, Graham regional managing director – building, said, “On behalf of everyone at Graham, I want to pass on my congratulations to Shams. His journey is truly inspirational, and he fully deserves every accolade and subsequent recognition that comes his way.

“He has proved to be an invaluable part of our team and I have no doubt that he will go on to have a successful career at Graham. He sets a great example to all future apprentices and we are honoured to be able to celebrate his success with him.”