BY MARIANNE GROS
A deaf apprentice has been highly commended for his work and achievements at a national construction ceremony.
Sam Goodbody, 21, was recognised at the Youth Builder of the Year ceremony at the House of Commons on December 2.
He is training as an electrician with housing firm Lovell, and working on one of the biggest regeneration construction sites in South-east London.
Sam, pictured, said the biggest way that being deaf impacts his professional life is communication and safety.
He said: “It is not always easy for me to communicate with hearing people that cannot sign. Communication is a lot slower.
“Obviously not being able to hear people’s voices, even when they shout, alarms, sirens and approaching traffic does put me at risk in certain situations.
“I think that many companies in the construction industry are nervous and would worry about employing a deaf person or disabled person.
“With some adaptions and technology, employers can make sure their workers are safe on site.”
“I was surprised to be nominated for an award, but I was delighted when I found out I was highly commended, and it made me feel very proud.”
Lovell’s training staff played a significant role in Sam’s development, and in ensuring his safety on site.
Lovell training advisor Sophia Bruce said: “We had a series of meetings before Sam started at Trinity Walk, to prepare for him being on site, including a special alarm system being installed.”
The award was organised by Youth Build UK to celebrate the achievements of young people, who despite having to overcome a range of barriers, have succeeded in gaining employment in the construction industry.
Youth Build UK helps young people to combat social exclusion through the development of construction-based support services.
Simon Mantle from Youth Build said: “Our view was that Sam should be recognised and congratulated for overcoming this difficulty and realising his ambition of making himself a career in the building industry.”
Sam is successfully working through his NVQ to become fully qualified. His entry, put forward by Lovell, was singled out from hundreds of entries.
He hopes other young people in similar circumstances to him will feel that they can follow their dreams if they have the support.