lumbing business owner, Joseph Valente, who was ex- pelled from school at 15, won

Lord Alan Sugar’s £250,000 backing and a 50/50 business partnership on the BBC show Te Apprentice in 2015. Te 26-year-old impressed Sugar

with his work ethic, dedication and sales tenacity. He was crowned the eleventh winner of the show over contestant Vana Koutsomitis, who had pitched to launch a mobile dating app. Valente’s company, Impra-Gas, is based in Peterborough and specialises in the service, maintenance and installation of gas appliances. Valente used the prize money to expand his business, which prides itself on delivering the best customer service and aftercare to its clients.

Why training and how did you start?

Training is a vital part of progression and is the only way to improve your skill set and give you the knowledge and techniques to progress. I got expelled from school at

15. My mother was disappointed. As we left my head teacher’s office, she asked: “What are you going to do with your life?” I said to her: “Don’t worry about me Mum, I promise you I will be OK.” I started working – unpaid – with

a local plumber so I would be more skilled than the other guys who start- ed apprenticeships at 16. I learnt skills quite quickly, but I knew that the only way to earn more money was to enrol in college and become qualified. So I did a two-year plumbing course at Peterborough College. After I com- pleted the training, I started looking for jobs, but most firms wanted people with three years’ experience. By the age of 18, I was fully qualified as a plumber and got a job

Playing to win

  

 

Nothing beats hard work. Have a plan and stick to it.

Don’t wait for opportunities, create them yourself.

Know your industry, product or service and how you are going to sell it.

Surround yourself with like- minded people.

12 | july 2016 | @TrainingJournal

at L&M (Euro) Limited. I was on my lunchbreak, flicking through Te Sun, when I saw an advert looking for people to become qualified gas engineers. So I filled in the application form, called Barclays to apply for

a career development loan to fund the course, and then quit my job. I had to work unpaid again for six

months. I was doing two weeks with an employer and then three weeks in college. I did it at the worst time

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